Biological Control

As referenced on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Biological Control webpage, biological control is "the use of natural enemies to control non-native pests."

Controlling Leafy Spurge With Flea Beetles in Clay County
Clay County, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been involved in a program since 1989 in which flea beetles are being used to control leafy spurge in the county. Since 1999, over 6 million flea beetles have been collected and released in Clay County with impressive results. Leafy spurge has been eradicated from several hundred acres of land in Clay County through this program.

The photos to the right were taken of flea beetles that had been collected in the county, prior to their release.
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The "before" and "after" pictures below show the excellent results of introducing the A. lacertosa flea beetle to an area bordering both Highland Grove and Eglon townships in Clay County, which was infested with leafy spurge.

Before

Area bordering both Highland Grove and Eglon townships before the introduction of flea beetles

After

Area bordering both Highland Grove and Eglon townships after the introduction of flea beetles
Additional Resources
Extensive information is available on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's webpage.

Biological Control of Leafy Spurge, a comprehensive, easy-to-read manual on how to use biological control as an effective leafy spurge management tool can be downloaded from the TEAM Leafy Spurge website.

For further information or assistance, contact the Clay Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) by calling 218-287-2255.