One of the bigger biocontrol critters: Goats

TheDailyCamera | July 28, 2010 | Lou Colby talks about her herd of about 300 goats feeding at Boulder Reservoir in order to help control noxious weeds.

Video by Greg Lindstrom / The Camera

Read more here.

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Biocontrol weevil larva making headway against Mile-a-Minute Vine

Mile-A-Minute Vine (Polygonum perfoliatum) thinks it has permission to grow anywhere. The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group does not concur. Last summer the group dispatched 2,000 weevils, and today “the leaves look like Swiss cheese,” says Donna Ellis, co-chair of CIPWG. Read more about their success here.

Photo from a Maryland woodland: flickr/Furryscaly

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Public Radio’s “Living on Earth” discusses use of biocontrol beetles to thwart Purple Loosestrife

In the search for tools to fight the Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), naturalists began importing galerucella beetles from Europe. Scientists have found that Galerucella beetles eat only Purple Loosestrife, and the animal was approved as a control organism in the United States since the 1990s.

Read more and/or listen to audio here.

Beth Suedmeyer from the Massachusetts Wetland Restoration Program unpacks 7,500 Galerucella beetles as part of the Purple Loosestrife Biocontrol Project. Photo: flickr/urtica

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Noxious weed controls: Are poisons the most effective short- and long-term option or does biocontrol offer the greatest hope?

The Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute has just posted a video, produced eight years ago, which examines the success of biocontrols and manual weeding. CRMPI is now seeking funding to produce an updated film.

At this time, the following two segments are available online. If and when additional footage is uploaded, it will be shared with you here.

000MrJwright | July 15, 2010 | Please visit Pesticidefree.ca for more info. If you would like to invest in the new film titled “Why We Spray” visit CRMPI.org.

(See also, HW’s Weeding Out Invasives page.)

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Tamarisk control suddenly drops in importance according to new federal policy

Tamarisk (Tamarix spp., aka Salt Cedar), a non-native invasive shrub spreading throughout the American Southwest, has been judged to be no greater usurper of water than its native counterparts while still offering nesting habitat, so a program to introduce the Tamarisk Beetle (Diorhabda spp.) to set back the shrub has been halted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The decision affects bio-control efforts in 13 states. Read about the origins of the program here, and read the June 20, 2010, update here.

David Brandt photo

Update: See also editorial from June 27, 2010, Durango Herald here.

Update: See also editorial from July 12, 2010, Grand Junction Sentinel here.

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Announcing the debut of the Homemade Wilderness weeding reference page

Progress is being made in archiving a series of convenient, concise guidance articles within Homemade Wilderness’ reference pages. Now, when you or your friends wonder how to combat a weedy species, just click on the Weeding Out Invasive Plants tab at the top of this site to become familiar with your management options, then follow the link provided to access the most effective control advice based on current research for combating the particular species of concern to you.