Ada County Weed Pest and Mosquito Abatement
Biological Control For Weeds
At Ada County Weed and Pest Control, we strive to find the newest, safest, and most effective means of protecting our environment from noxious weeds. Several difficult weed infestations in Ada County are prime candidates for biological control -- agents like insects or other plant species that control invasive weed populations. These biological controls are safe to the environment and are a natural way to protect our public lands against invasive weed species.
- In the Boise and Eagle foothills, Ada County Weed Control has released three biological agents for the control of Rush Skeletonweed: a rust spore that attacks the stems, a midge that attacks the stems, and a mite that attacks the seed head.
- Meanwhile, Ada County Weed Control regularly collects, releases, and monitors a leaf-eating beetle that attacks Purple Loosestrife. This plant is difficult to control because it drops its seeds into area waterways. Purple Loosestrife seeds can spread long distances in our waterways, which makes spraying herbicides an unattractive option. While the beetle is not entirely eradicating the plants, they reduce seed production and have been a very useful tool in the war on weeds.
- Spotted and Diffuse Knapweeds are being targeted for the release of the Lesser Knapweed Flower Weevil. (Larinus Minutus) This weevil is a new find in Ada County and is the result of previous releases in other areas. Now that we have found this bio-agent in our county, we are attempting to foster its numbers and spread.
Biological control programs are not the only answer to our weed problems. In many cases, the release of the available bio-agents are most clearly described as experimental. Ada County Weed and Pest Control is working with state and federal agencies in the search and development of other bio-control agents that offer a safe and effective supplement of our program of noxious weed control.
See this link to the Animal, Plant, Health Inspection Service (USDA) Web site to learn more about Biological Controls at the federal level. Another useful website is the National Invasive Species Council. This site discusses the impacts of noxious weeds, the species of concern and the federal government's responses to these problem weeds.