Bugs vs. Weeds: GVLT Releases Bio Control Insects to Manage Noxious Weeds

In the war against noxious weeds, GVLT and landowners are getting creative and thinking outside of the box. This year GVLT was focused on managing St. Johnswort, a noxious weed that is rapidly expanding into native rangelands in the Bozeman Pass area where GVLT holds a number of conservation easements. We partnered with several of our conservation easement landowners to release 2,500 Klamath Weed Beetles (Chrysolina quadrigemina) along I-90 and in the Kelly Canyon area as a way to boost their populations. Once the Klamath Weed Beetle is well established it will exclusively feed on St. Johnswort thus severely limiting its spread.  We are glad to report that while releasing this bug this summer, we encountered a large number of Spotted Knapweed bugs that we released last year. We found them happily feeding on Knapweed and helping steward our scenic open spaces. Way to go bugs!

If this work interests you, please consider donating to GVLT’s Stewardship Enhancement Fund, a separate GVLT fund that supports our work with landowners.

More information:

MT Weed Control Association Link (St. Johnwort): http://mtweed.org/weeds/st-johnswort/

Cornell Labs Biocontrol Bugs Link (Klammath Weed Beetle): https://biocontrol.entomology.cornell.edu/weedfeed/Chrysolina.php