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Swarming The South

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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.

Elizabeth Friend grew up in North Carolina listening to public radio in the backseat of the family station wagon. She has been reporting and producing at WUNC since 2016, covering everything from Army history to armadillos. She's also the co-founder of the beloved summer event series Audio Under The Stars. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the outside world with her family, dabbling in esoteric crafts, and cheese.
Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.