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By R. Lloyd Nelson
Fire ants are a painful nuisance that has already hit the southern states east and west. As the nests are easy to spot, one environmentally sound way of eradicating them might be with a portable microwave generator powerful enough to penetrate several feet into the ground. I imagine a truck mounted model that swings out over the nest and focuses tightly. The same small flatbed would carry a gasoline generator to power the microwave unit. A rig like this could drive from farm to farm, field to field, exterminating the pests for a fee.

Reward: Hey, how about a DVD copy of the movie, "Antz"?
By Danni R.
So, what you're suggesting in essence is: Kill fire with fire! And how about laser?
By Harold
Do you live next to or know Hank Hill ?

this is a good idea !
By Andrew Adler
Sounds like one hell of a nasty weapon. Not that I am against weapons, but can just imagine trying to get 'civilian' approval for a microwave device capable of frying a square yard or two of soil several feet deep. [impish grin] That said, it is a wonderful and environment friendly idea!
By R. Lloyd Nelson
Seems a might cumbersome for a weapon, Andrew, but your point on approval is dead on regardless. Lobbyists for the American Poison Purveyors and Licensed Exterminators would surely be working overtime. You and Danni and Harold can reach me at if you've a mind to.
By R. Lloyd Nelson
No, Harold, I don't, but maybe I should? Thanks for the vote of confidence.
By R. Lloyd Nelson
#273's really just kill fire ants without killing the environment. I'm not that familiar with lasers capable of destroying a nest several feet underground. Could one small enough, sturdy enough and powerful enough be run from the portable platform I descsribed?
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By Michael D. Grissom
I think you got it right the first time Lloyd. Have you tried putting ants in your microwave yet to see how long it takes to kill them at 500 watts or so. This would give a good perspective of the time it would take to do the job.

I suspect a modified panel van would hold a unit big enough to kill a nest and can be focused out the bottom center of the van (hard to use as an anti-personal weapon that way). The vans engine is capable of generating enough electrical power to accomplish the task. Look for close-out sales on microwave oven klystron tubes and calculate one tube per cubic foot (I have no idea what the volume of a nest is). You only have to build one to demo to somebody like Terminex or start your own business.

A laser would only work if you always knew EXACTLY where the queen is.

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