help, hinder, overwhelm ?

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In the May/June issue of Gardener,
there is a short article :

"Stop the Invasion :
by Ellen Sturm

There is good news for wetlands
suffering from the invasion of European
purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
which has crowded out native species
and destroyed many wildlife habitats
and food sources.

Where mowing, burning, flooding, and
herbicides have failed, tiny insects are
proving successful.

Wetlands managers looking for a
biological answer found two beetles
and two weevils from Europe that


on purple loosestrife.  In 1992 they
were released in seven states.

Today the insects have been introduced
in 35 states and at least 10 Canadian
provinces through state and federal
organizations, universities, nature
centers, and schools.

A few hundred insects can be enough.
In three to five years years their growing
populations can result in up to 90 percent
elimination of purple loosestrife.  To
participate in a beetle release in your area,
contact your local Cooperative Extension
Service or visit"
It's the 'primarily' that bothers me . . .

as well as the observation :

"has been approved for introduction, however, European specimens
are infested with a nematode, and this infection has prevented its
introduction. Although infested adults of N. brevis do not show
reduced life-spans or increased mortality and females lay fertile
eggs, the potential for harmful effects of the nematode to indigenous
North American insects exists. At present we have stopped any
attempts to introduce . . ."

Toni in Seattle

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