Citizens Enlisted Against Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria (chesapeakebay.net)

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria (chesapeakebay.net)

     Now that purple loosestrife is in full bloom, Wisconsin officials are hoping residents will help them locate unmapped stands of the invasive species. "Purple loosestrife is easiest to find when it's flowering," says Brock Woods, coordinator for Wisconsin's purple loosestrife removal effort. Biocontrol beetles, mechanical removal and herbicides all fit in the DNR’s management plan, and they say that citizens can help by reporting stands, pulling plants with less than two stems (with landowner permission), cutting flower spikes, treating with consumer herbicides or by raising biocontrol beetles themselves. For those interested in the last option, free equipment and starter beetles are available through the DNR.