21 Dec 2011

Import of beetle allowed as pest control

12:53 pm on 21 December 2011

The Environmental Protection Authority has allowed the import of a new beetle into the country for biological pest contol.

In September, Waikato Regional Council applied to import Colaspis argentinensis to help control moth plant, a weed with a heavy mass of foliage than can kill underlying trees and seedlings.

Moth plant is a fast-growing vine which can invade kiwifruit and other orchards as well as reserves and urban areas.

The larvae of the beetle damages the moth plant by feeding on its roots.

The EPA says the beetle will provide long-term benefits to the areas affected by the weed without damaging the natural habitat.