Published On: Wed, Apr 5th, 2017

Knox County relies on bugs to help fight noxious weeds

CENTER — Bugs will continue to be used to help control noxious weeds in Knox County.
Knox County Supervisors agreed to give a $500 donation to the South Dakota/Nebraska Purple Loosestrife Management Project during the March 30 meeting.
The funds will be used to run a bucket garden to raise Galerucella beetles which are a natural enemy of purple loosestrife, a noxious weed that is hard to control.
Root balls from purple loosestrife are dug up and put in five gallon buckets filled with soil. The roots grow into a plant with foliage. Larvae on the roots become beetles and extra beetles can also be added to the buckets which have a net secured over the top. The beetles mate and lay eggs which hatch into larvae and then become adult beetles.
Large numbers of the beetles can end up in one bucket. The bugs will be released during the summer months in areas where loosestrife is growing.
Knox County Weed Supt. Steve Banks has participated in gathering the purple loosestrife root balls in the past and plans to continue with the program.
High school students and a number of others, which has included prisoners from the Yankton Trustee Unit, have helped gather the roots according to Banks.

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