Environment: Fighting the Fire Ant

The tools used by man to control his environment often contain unknown dangers. DDT, for example, was once heralded as the ultimate pesticide, then was deemed an insidious killer. Now the U.S. Government finds itself in court defending a newer pesticide called Mirex, which conservationists claim has toxic side effects.

The trouble was caused by the fire ant, an agricultural pest that entered the U.S. from South America about 50 years ago and is now considered a problem in most Southeastern states. The fire ant erects mounds on cleared land; like natural tank traps,...

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