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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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USDA Agricultural Research Services Web site on area wide suppression of fire ants.

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Materials located on the USDA Areawide Suppression of Fire Ants Web site are in the public domain and may be downloaded and used in other media without first requesting permission. However, such use does not incur any financial or legal obligations on the part of the USDA or others participating on the site.




Below are links to videos of the female decapitating flies that attack red imported fire ants. These South American ants invaded the U.S. about 1930. They inflict painful bites and infest millions of acres in the South.

The Agricultural Research Service first brought decapitating flies to the U.S. from their native Brazil in the mid-1990's. The female fly deposits its eggs in the ants. After an egg hatches, the fly larva matures to adulthood inside the ant's decapitated head. The adult then emerges to seek a mate. (Read more about the research.)

You will need Windows Media Player to view the videos. The player software is available free at the Windows Media download site.

  • Biological Control of Fire Ants
    Energetic and inspiring introduction to control of fire ants.
    Broadband (22 MB)

  • Decapitating Fly Story
    Detailed explanation of the use of decapitating flies for biological control of fire ants.
    Broadband (44.5 MB)

    • Attack of the Decapitating Flies
      Decapitating flies attacking fire ants—and being attacked by doomed ants.
      Phone modem (377 KB) | Broadband (2.4 MB)

    • A Fly Emerges
      Decapitating fly adult emerges from one of a group of decapitated fire ant heads that contain fly larvae.
      Phone modem (256 KB) | Broadband (2.8 MB)

    • "Flight Check" by Young Adult Fly
      Newly emerged fly prepares to take off and search for a mate.
      Phone modem (404 KB) | Broadband (2.6 MB)

  • Fire Ant Disease Story
    Detailed explanation of the use of fire ant disease for biological control of fire ants.
    Broadband (50 MB)

  • Bait Applications

    • How to correctly apply contact insecticides.
      Broadband (14.5 MB)
    • Granules are easily broadcasted over small and large areas.
      Broadband (15 MB)
    • Fire ants aggressively forage and return bait to the colony.
      Broadband (7.5 MB)

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Last Modified: 11/28/2015