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Flea beetles redistributed in North Dakota

Recent field days in Billings, Grant and Stutsman counties redistributed over 900,000 flea beetles in 303 releases throughout North Dakota for biocontrol of leafy spurge.

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Sanja565658, Wikimedia.org

Recent field days in Billings, Grant and Stutsman counties redistributed over 900,000 flea beetles in 303 releases throughout North Dakota for biocontrol of leafy spurge.

“Leafy spurge remains one of North Dakota’s worst noxious weeds,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Using the flea beetles for biological control, as part of an integrated pest management plan, has proven to be an effective tool in combatting leafy spurge infestations.”

During field days, flea beetles are harvested using sweep nets and redistributed to other problem areas in North Dakota. At least 3,000 beetles are released per new location to ensure the best chance of the population establishing. The Aphthona flea beetles do not feed on crop species or native plants outside of the genus Euphorbia (spurge).

Other options to control leafy spurge include herbicide application, sheep or goat grazing and cultivation.

The field days were co-hosted by the county weed boards along with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and are typically held annually.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA
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