Update: Beetles Take a Bite out of Loosestrife

Keen and Moder release beetles into the wild (connectverona.com)

Keen and Moder release beetles into the wild (connectverona.com)

     For more than two months Bill Keen, local resident and Upper Sugar River Water Association (USRWA) member, has been raising beetles in his backyard on six netted loosestrife plants. The non-native beetle feeds exclusively on the invasive, and Keenan carried proof of their appetite as he headed into the river. “Not every gardener puts in the effort to replant a nearly dead plant,” jokes his videographer. Keenan carried the almost dead invasives from Lake Belle View to the Sugar River, relocating them in case beetles and their larvae were still present. Part of ongoing control efforts, the beetles are key to Wisconsin’s invasive management plan.