TNRD offers bugs for weed control

‘There’s a whole lot of bioagents (insects) out there for most of the noxious weeds that we have’

The insect mogulones-cruciger is used to control hound’s-tongue. TNRD photo.

Weed season is here and with it comes, well, weeds.

Luckily the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s (TNRD) biocontrol program is in effect, which helps private landowners control pesky weeds for free.

The program works by releasing hungry host-specific insects into weed-affected areas, where they eat the unwanted vegetation, leaving all the native vegetation virtually untouched.

“Sometimes they eat the seeds, sometimes they eat the leaves and sometimes they eat the roots, so there’s a whole lot of bioagents (insects) out there for most of the noxious weeds that we have,” said Mike Dedels, invasive plant management coordinator for TNRD.

“They’ve been released over the years…and some of them act fairly quickly on the weeds and do a good bit of damage, and others just reduce seed production or weaken the roots to make the plants weaker, so they’re less competitive.”

The TNRD biocontrol program currently has insects available for hound’s tongue and dalmation toadflax weeds.

Hound’s tongue is a nuisance because the plants have burrs on them that can attach to an animal’s fur, whether they’re livestock or pets, and the plants are also mildly poisonous, but luckily most animals won’t eat it, he said.

Toadflax, on the other hand, is a particular problem because it takes over grasslands and eliminates the native vegetation.

Using bioagents is a long-term commitment and results may take three to 10 years depending on the (weed) species and other variables relating to the site affected.

Dedels added there are four main avenues one can use when it comes to weed control.

The first one is prevention and involves making sure to use clean hay or seed on the property, so foreign weeds don’t show up in the first place; also being aware of what new weeds are in the area can help a person nip them in the bud and attack them as soon as they pop up.

He said he considers this the best and cheapest method of approach.

The second mode of control is mechanically cutting, pulling or mowing the weeds after they’ve sprouted.

As for the third avenue Dedels said, “There’s the old tried and true chemical methods, which depending on what kind of weeds there are, can be effective.”

The fourth way to keep weeds at bay is, of course, the bioagents.

“If you release bugs they’ll spread, and then you can spread them further and cover most of the ground where the weed is,” he said.

“It’s the effective way once the weeds have got out of control.”

Any private landowners interested in the biocontrol program can contact Dedels at 250-377-6297.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Barriere Health Centre temporarily closes emergency department for Aug. 21

Physician clinic at the health centre remains open

North Thompson Fall Fair Ambassadors crowned

Congratulations to the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association’s newly crowned… Continue reading

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

New Barriere Fire Chief appointed

Ashley Wohlgemuth first woman to serve as Fire Chief in Barriere

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Canada’s team chasing elusive gold medal at women’s baseball World Cup

Canada, ranked No. 2 behind Japan, opens play Wednesday against No. 10 Hong Kong

Most Read