Friday, July 15, 2011

It's War! Palisade Scientist Uses Bugs To Attack Toxic Plants

By Matt Kroschel

Its all hands on deck to keep a non native species of weed from taking over the Western Slope. For scientist in Palisade a very small fly they are raising may hold the answer to eradicating the toxic Russian Knap weed on the Western Slope.

Thousands of the little bugs are being breed right now at the US department of Agriculture facility. Experts I spoke with say they might hold the key to stopping this plant from doing even more damage here. Since entomologist Dan Bean was 6-years-old he wanted to work with bugs.

Now he is on the front lines in the battle against the Russian Knapweed. It's biological warfare. The bugs are brought in because they will only feed on the knapweed. Like  laser guided missiles, they seek out the weed and move on into the plant, literaly.

This is not the first time the Palisde operation has raised bugs to attack non native plants. I am told the beetles released to tackle the tammarask problem is doing great.

SO knapweeds listen up! The flys are coming you have been warned!
I am told the first stop for the bugs will be some Buearu of Land Managment property out near Loma.

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