Submitted to: Bio Control of Leafy Spurge
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2000
Publication Date: January 1, 2000
Technical Abstract: Biological control or biocontrol, is defined as a reduction in abundance or competitive advantage of a weed, insect or nematode pest through the action of natural enemies such as parasites, predators or pathogens. Fifteen different insects have been tested and approved for leafy spurge control, but the all-stars of the leafy spurge biocontrol effort have been Aphthona spp. flea beetles. Flea beetles typically take several years to impact leafy spurge infestations, but the payoff can be well worth the wait. Researchers have documented leafy spurge canopy cover reductions of up to 95 % and stem density reductions of 200 plus stems per square meter to fewer than five stems per square meter. Biological control is a permanent, long-erm and low-cost solution to the leafy spurge problem.