The phorid starts the process of zombification by dive bombing the fire ant and laying its seed in its body. Soon the larva makes its way to the ant’s brain and eats it. At that point, the brainless ant spends about two weeks wandering aimlessly as the larva gets ready to hatch. After it does, the newborn fly pops the zombie ant’s head off and emerges.
Phorid flies, which come from South America, have been introduced to Texas to help control the fire ant population.
If you encounter a zombie fire ant, don’t freak out, as even in their undead state they are at the complete mercy of the bottom of your shoe.