canstockphoto25679607Purple loosestrife is a perennial herbaceous, flowering plant of European origin. It has successfully spread and degraded wetlands throughout much of temperate North America. Due to its aggressive growth in wetland ecosystems, invasive purple loosestrife has resulted in displacing native plants and animals. Because this showy magenta plant grows from a persistent tap root, a spreading root stock and is a very prolific seed producer it is built to out compete natives and establish itself as a monoculture.

Controlling this competitive wetland invader is challenging using conventional methods. Cultural (i.e. cutting, burning, flooding etc.) and herbicide methods can get expensive. Purple loosestrife is one of only a handful of invasive plant species that has a USDA approved natural predator that will, 1) not harm native vegetation and 2) offers relatively cost effective longer term control.

One of the approved effective biological control agents is the defoliating beetle Galerucella calmariensis. This voracious, prolific, and hardy beetle feeds on plant parts which reduce loosestrife growth, flowering, seed production, and photosynthetic capability.

The professional staff of Wildlife and Wetlands Solutions is experienced in the release and monitoring of Galerucella calmariensis and also offers these beetles for sale to clients. Our staff is available to answer questions regarding this biological control agent.