Biological Controls can be quite complicated, technical, and yet controversial although having been observed and tested for many years. These are usually species-specific organisms or natural enemies such as an insect that would be methodically used to suppress or control another organism like an exotic invasive aquatic plant. Under proper
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Aquatic Nuisance Plant Control/Northern Division, 3930 Perry Holt Road, West Branch, MI 48661
In the case of the non-native Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), the milfoil weevil (Eurychiopsis lecontei) prefers to attack this species as well as some hybridized forms over its native host Northern Milfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum). The insects life cycle is about 30 days, and lives and feeds on and within the targeted plant depending on their growth stage. Although introduced in large numbers to enhance a native established population, weevil populations may become limited and somewhat diminished by the availability and density of specific targeted plants within a given area. Other factors that may influence its success or full potential as a biological control agent is the weevils ability to over-winter in natural shoreline areas as well as being a seasonal low-priority food source to some fish.
The process followed for a milfoil weevil control program would include initial targeted plant species identification and population mapping, the gathering of financial resources to commit funding to a long-range program, the initial augmentation or “population enhancement” procedure, multiple seasonal visits to document the changes in weevil population, distribution, and targeted plant impacts, and finally year-end reports and re-introduction recommendations for the following season. The process would continue with each on-going season in an attempt to either increase the weevil populations to previously addressed areas or expand additional populations to other established plant beds previously not augmented in the initial introduction.
Due to our special cooperative relationship with EnviroScience, Inc. and their Milfoil Solution® process, ANPC/Northern Division can assist your group in deciding if the Milfoil Solution® option may be adopted as part of an Integrated Pest Management Strategy for your current or future Eurasian Milfoil management program.
conditions, biological agents may reproduce and spread successfully after being introduced to an area where the targeted organism exists. If successfully established, control is not guaranteed or immediate and can sometimes take years to present desirable impacts. As a result of being introduced into a native environment where small populations may already exist, it may initially be difficult to assess success and has been considered by some within the aquatic plant management industry to be somewhat unpredictable. Overall outcome of the use of biological control measures can be linked directly to the dedication or commitment to the process.