Preparing for Purple Eaters
by Sea Grant Staff
Minnesota Sea Grant co-hosted a new youth program in Duluth this spring to help combat the spread of an invasive plant, purple loosestrife. Thirty-three young people and adults from several area 4-H clubs, a Boy Scout troop, and a group from Woodland Hills youth treatment program, potted purple loosestrife taken from an infested area. They took the loosestrife plants home and cared for them in kiddy pools filled with water. They inoculated the plants with loosestrife-eating beetles in June, so that the beetles would multiply. In late July, the youths released the beetles in several loosestrife-infested areas, including the St. Louis River.