Fire Ants Are Invading Hawaii, so Helicopters Are Blasting Them With Birth Control



‘Murder hornets’ might have everyone freaking out the mainland, but Hawaii has its own little, huge problem: Invasive ants.

These aren’t just any ant. Two species — yellow crazy ants and little fire ants — are destroying the islands’ native biodiversity and making life miserable for residents. Scientists have struggled to eradicate what are considered some of the world’s worst invasive species.

Now, they are unleashing helicopters dropping ant birth control to stop them from expanding territory. It’s the first time conservationists are spraying a non-toxic bait from helicopters to stop ants from reproducing, and it could provide a successful model for other places trying to control invasive bugs.

Cover image credit: Eli Sarnat

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41 comments

  1. Ants are very vital to the survival of our planet.. If they don't disturb us, we should leave them alone… Destroying and killing any species of animals that don't cause us harm will eventually come back to bite us.

  2. "Today we sprayed birth control from Helicopters." What the hell is wrong with you people? Just bring in the anteaters. God, anything but spraying some more nasty chemicals in the air

  3. No toxic chemicals used. Yea, after they had the larvicide declared non toxic. Humans have been spraying chemicals onto the land for close to a hundred years now in attempts to control the environment and make it suitable for their needs. In the process they have eradicated tens of thousands of species in the microbiome. Without even realizing what we did we have started a cascade effect of extinctions which is going to play out for hundreds of years. No one can really say exactly how bad this is going to be, but the vast majority of biologists agree that the end effect will be catastrophic. Read Rachel Carsons book "Silent Spring" to understand how badly we screwed up in the 50's and 60's with exactly this type of program. I strongly doubt that they have a chemical which only stops one species from reproducing, but hey mentioning the other species affected doesn't fit the story line. We as a species have a hard time accepting that we screwed up. We are unwilling to just step back and let our mistakes play out and not make the same mistake again. No we think that we're the dominant creature on the planet and if we just try hard enough we can fix anything. We can't, and that has been shown time and time again.

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