University of Texas Fire Ant Project


They're back ! Fire Ants, Spring 2014. I researched progress made by our great state of Texas to eliminate fire ants, something that has turned into a life threatening hazard for me. I found that the University of Texas in Austin has a Fire Ant Project. The project entails the use of phorid flies for bio control. I wrote to the coordinator of the project and have an update below. Meanwhile......while UT fights back........ I will stay in the safe haven that Paul designed for me. Excerpt from message sent to me by Rob Plowes at Coordinator of Texas Fire Ant project from UT Austin - "In the past 10 years, research groups in US including our lab at UT Austin, USDA and others, have released and documented the spread of several natural enemies of fire ants. To date there are six phorid flies released in different areas, slowly spreading across the southern states, also a microsporidium (parasitic fungus) and 3 viruses. All of these are host specific, only known to infect fire ants. This is a start and our labs are continuing to research other possible biological control agents to import, using new molecular tools to identify candidate organisms." Thank goodness !!