Today, the best biological methods to control Fire ants is to introduce other ant species which can not only compete with them for food and nesting sites, but are also able to attack small fire ant colonies, or kill newly mated queen ants. Read on to know more on biological methods of controlling Fire ants.
The current research today is focusing on preserving natural enemies of the ant. Some of the promising pathogens are the microsporidian protozoan, Theohari solenopsae and the fungus Beauveria bassiana which can play an important role in controlling Fire ants biologically. Another parasitic ant, Solenopsis daguerrei, invades fire ant colonies to replace the queen in the hope of controlling the colony.
Parasitoid phorid flies from South America - Pseudacteon tricuspis and Pseudacteon curvatus are able to succefully parasitize the ants. The Phorid flies have been introduced in many places in southeastern United States, where they are slowly reproducing and spreading, and thus are proving a good means in controlling Fire ants biologically.
Several other parasites and pathogens have also been marketed as biological methods to control Fire ants. For instance, the Argentine ants have displaced the fire ants in some areas. A virus, SINV-1, has been found in many of fire ant fields, where it has induced a slow death of infected colonies. Proving to be both self-sustaining and transmissible, it can eradicate a colony within three months once introduced. According to the researchers and scientists, SINV-1 is one of the best biological methods to control Fire ants.
Sometimes, the fire ants from single-queen or polygyne colonies will attack the newly mated fire ant queens, with the purpose of eliminating small, neighboring colonies. The newly mated fire ant queens, ready to start new colonies, get often killed by a number of organisms like birds, lizards, spiders, toads, dragonflies, robber flies, other ant species.
It has been seen that hastily adopted methods to control Fire ants biologically can sometimes do more harm then good, for example the mosquitofish in Australia. It still remains to gauge the success rate of these biological methods of controlling Fire ants. Still, many new biological methods to control Fire ants are also being explored.
Fire ants videos
Dragonflies spend considerable time in flight and are aggressive insectivores with large transparent membranous wings and huge compound eyes. This Green Darner is the largest contemporary dragonfly.