Well, if this sentiment holds true, let’s all embrace our new brain tunneling, mind controlling, head melting and ant decapitating friend… The Pseudacteon parasitic fly.
These teeny-tiny flies have the potential to be a natural pest control agent and combat the nasty hoards of fire ants that are plaguing the Southern United States. How you ask? By removing their heads!
Here’s how it all goes down:
Ant Decapitating Flies
Some of the most malevolent creatures to ever inhabit this country are the malicious, spiteful, stinging, Red Imported Fire ants. Their huge mounds are unmistakable. If you ever disturb one of these mounds in any way, hundreds of them will come spilling out, violently defending the colony by swarming up your arms and legs, painfully stinging you multiple times! Ouch!
For all of you that hate these fire ants with a passion, you now have a powerful ally to aid you in your battle.
Tiny parasitic flies of the genus Pseudacteon, which were brought up from South America by an entomologist for the sole purpose of controlling fire ant populations, kill fire ants by removing their heads.
These flies buzz around looking for fire ants; as they are drawn to the fire ant’s pheromones.
Upon locating a fire ant, the parasitic fly will dive-bomb into the ant’s head, sticking the ant with an internal ovipositor that looks like a microscopic needle.
Once sticking the ant, the fly will deposit a very small torpedo-shaped egg into the fire ant’s head.
With an egg now inside the ant’s brain, the fly maggot will grow by feeding on the ant’s brain and bodily fluids. The fly larvae can actually control the fire ant’s mind for a period of time, until the larvae mercifully decides to kill it’s host.
The fly larvae will release a brain-dissolving chemical that eats away at the fire ant’s brain, membranes, glands, and muscle; some of which are needed to hold the ant’s head on it’s body.
Eventually, the ant’s head falls off, leaving the rest of the body behind, twitching like a decapitated zombie from The Walking Dead.
The fly larvae then hollows out the ant head, where it will stay and grow, until a new parasitic fly will emerge to once again burrow into another fire ant’s brain.
WOW! You can’t make this stuff up! It sounds like something straight out of a horror movie!
Fire Ant Control
We are still years away from importing these tiny parasitic flies from South America, to combat our fire ant populations. Entomologists have received approval to release four different batches of South American ant-decapitating flies in the U.S. Some argue against this idea… Kind of like breeding and releasing cats to combat a mice problem; only to be overrun by cats.
Until these tiny parasitic flies are frequently found buzzing in the U.S., taking out the masses of fire ants, your best bet to get rid of them is professional fire ant control. A combination of wide-area treatments and baiting is proven extremely effective for eliminating fire ants from a property.