Museum’s Dr. Adrian Smith on this week’s CREEP podcast: Fire Ants

For immediate release ‐ July 15, 2021

Contact: Jon Pishney, 919.707.8083. Images available upon request

Red imported Fire Ants: [We've] tried things ranging from insecticides to bringing in parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in fire ant heads. We've tried to throw a lot of things at them. They persist. -Adrian Smith, Head of the Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

This week on CREEP: Swarming the South

We might not like red imported fire ants … but they aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

There’s a battle going on under our feet as two types of fire ant colonies vie for the upper hand in yards, fields, and medians across the South. The more they spread, the more people, pets, livestock, and wildlife will encounter their painful, sometimes deadly, stings.

Hosts Elizabeth Friend and Laura Pellicer speak with researchers Adrian Smith and Horace Zeng about the origins and adaptations of this resilient insect, and delve into the ways they inspire fear, loathing, and respect.

How did they get here? How do they increase their range? Learn the answers to these questions and more in the second episode of CREEP, a new podcast about creatures invading our space, and changing the world around us, presented by WUNC & North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Listen & subscribe! 🐜🌿


Photo/video: Adrian Smith.

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