The Acrobatic Bugs That May Eradicate An Invasive Plant Species Will Soon Be Released Into The Wild
For researchers, developing chemicals that effectively eradicate invasive species is extremely hard to pull off. However, finding an insect that feeds on an invasive species is much easier. Releasing predators into the wild so that they may hunt and eventually eradicate invasive species is a control measure that is sometimes used as a last resort when no other realistic options are available to researchers. As you can imagine, these particular eradication methods do not always go as planned. In the past, using insects to eradicate invasive species has sometimes caused more harm than good. However, modern scientists seem to have a handle on this particular eradication technique. For example, researchers in the United States will soon release mass amounts of weevils into the environment in order to combat the spread of an invasive plant species. Sometimes the insects that are released into the wild for these purposes become problematic on their own; most notably when they consume other insects or plants that are essential to a region’s ecosystem. Luckily, the particular weevils being released into the environment only consume the invasive vine species being eradicated. Therefore, these weevils cannot harm a non-native ecosystem.
The particular type of weevil being released into the environment is officially known as Rhinoncomimus latipes, but this species is more commonly referred to as Weevil Knievel. This weevil gets its nickname from the acrobatic movements that it exhibits. The invasive plant species that researchers want to see these weevils destroy is known as devil’s tail, but some people refer the weed as Mile-a-Minute. This weed is sometimes referred to as Mile-a-Minute due to its rapid growth rate. These weeds can grow six inches each day, which is why the weed must be eradicated from non-native soil. Mile-a-Minute was first imported from China to Pennsylvania back in the 1930s, but the weed soon escaped and flourished in the wild. By the 1980s this weed was destroying entire forests and covering homes located along the Atlantic coast. Researchers have been trying to eradicate this weed for decades, but hopefully the Weevil Kneevil species will fully eradicate this weed for them.
Do you believe that the weevil species described above could still cause harm to the environment even though it only eats one type of weed and nothing else?