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Beetles Released for Biocontrol of Purple Loosestrife

Anna Moyer WDNR releasing beetles on the Milwaukee River

Anna Moyer (WDNR) releasing beetles on the
Milwaukee River

Biocontrol may be the most viable long-term control method for purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Promising to greatly reduce the need for other more costly and disruptive control methods, natural insect enemies can effectively decrease purple loosestrife's size and seed output, thus letting native plants reduce its numbers naturally through enhanced competition.

This summer, SEWISC partnered with Anna Moyer, WDNR Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist, to select locations for biocontrol beetle release including:

  • Ozaukee County: Cedarburg Bog Natural Area, on Mud Lake
  • Milwaukee County: along the Milwaukee River on River Revitalization Foundation properties
  • Waukesha County: private land on Lake Nagawicka and along the shore of Lac la Belle

Unfortunately, this year’s beetle supply was not large enough to supply every purple loosestrife population in the SEWISC region, but Anna hopes to return next year and release beetles in additional sites including those identified this year within Washington and Racine Counties. Report southeast Wisconsin purple loosestrife infestations at:

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