Beetle Release Planned to Combat Purple Loosestrife

Jul 11, 2022

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division, in collaboration with the SUNY Potsdam Department of Environmental Studies, have planned a biocontrol beetle release this week to combat local populations of purple loosestrife.

Purple loosestrife is an invasive wetland plant that can quickly overtake native plant populations, threatening the availability of traditional medicine species and decreasing the biodiversity and function of our wetland habitats. The Galerucella beetles, which specifically feed on purple loosestrife, have been used as a biocontrol in the United States since 1997 and have had no harmful ecological impacts. There have been similar releases in Akwesasne in the past, and this small release is being done to help maintain the beetle population.

While eradiation of the invasive plant is unobtainable, maintaining the beetle population prevents purple loosestrife from developing over large areas so that our native wetland species can thrive. If you have any questions please contact Sam Ernst, SRMT Pesticide Technician at (518) 358-5937, or by email at Samuel.ernst@srmt-nsn.gov.