Have you ever heard of the screw-worm fly? There is a reason for that. It is a nasty bug that lays eggs on the open wounds of animals, even tick bites, and the hatched larvae bore carnivorously into the flesh around the wound. The larvae drop to the ground once done feeding on the living flesh, dig into the earth and pupate, emerging 10 days later as adults to mate and restart the disgusting, parasitic process all over again. Until roughly 1966 they were endemic to all of the southern Unites States, and we have only the broad efforts of concerned scientists, informed citizens, active public officials, and the cooperation of those living north and south of the Mexican border to thank.
It has always been widely regarded that screw-worm flies completely suck, but they especially presented a liability for farming and cattle producers. The initial idea that screw-worm populations could be suppressed by releasing factory-reared specimens with detrimental survival traits was first discussed by Knipling and Bushland in 1937.… Read the rest