Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

Firepower Against Fire Ants: Killer Flies


Developments to Watch

FIREPOWER AGAINST FIRE ANTS: KILLER FLIES

"OFF WITH THEIR HEADS" IS the new battle cry in the war against fire ants. Sanford Porter, a scientist at the Agricultural Research Service Laboratory in Gainesville, Fla., is marshaling South American parasitic flies against them. The female Pseudacteon fly injects an egg into an ant with a needle-like appendage. The egg develops into a maggot and eats through the ant's neck to the head, producing enzymes that decapitate the critter.

Today's pesticides are no match for fire ants, which have spread from South America to 11 states and Puerto Rico. They feed on potatoes, pecans, and soybeans; kill orange trees; and drive out snakes, lizards, and native ants, reducing biodiversity. Pending an environmental-impact study, Porter hopes to begin field trials of two or three species of Pseudacteon within a year.EDITED BY PETER COY


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus