Thousands of bugs introduced to take care of leafy spurge problem in Regina
Leafy spurge may sound harmless...but the noxious weed is growing so pervasive the city is going to extreme measures to get rid of it.
Tens of thousands of BUGS are being introduced to one drainage ditch in east Regina in order to fight the growing weed problem.
Russel Eiritch, City of Regina entomologist, pointed to the storm channel along Victoria Avenue East Friday and described the weed.
“The yellow-green plants. It’s a lot more yellow in June, and the flowers are kind of dying off of the plant at this point so it’s looking a lot more green right now.”
More than 50,000 spurge beetles have been brought into the ditch this week to attack the leafy spurge.
A provincial program is harvesting them at a site near Moose Jaw. The bugs are actually frozen and transported in coolers, and as they warm up they sound like popcorn popping.
Eiritch said the adult bugs aren't the ones that will do the real damage.
“Where they’re really going to do their job is by laying the eggs just at the ground, close to the plant. The larvae with hatch, and the larvae with actually feed into the root and thereby weaken the plant allowing mother nature to do its thing.”
And he isn't concerned it will cause the city's eco-system to become unbalanced.
“Insects really stick to their host plants, so in this case if they really start to do their job really well, and the host plant dies off, there’s really not much of a chance of it moving on to something else.”
Results likely won’t be seen for about three years, then the city can then move them to other areas.
Edited by CJME's Lisa Schick.