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Tell the flea beetles just to attack leafy spurge

Re: Sheridan Press, Aug. 9

 

We once again see government interfering with nature. I do not argue that leafy spurge is a noxious weed and must be dealt with in some fashion. My issue comes from introducing an equally noxious pest, such as the flea beetle.

The article is correct in how the flea beetle attacks the plant, with larvae attacking the roots and killing the plant. However, the article failed to mention that the flea beetle also attacks other leafy plants, such as potatoes.

I lost a good portion of this year’s potato crop to the flea beetle, which I did not identify until five days ago and immediately applied an appropriate treatment to kill them all. This also applied to my other leafy vegetables. So, while the county spends $100,000 or more to spread them, I will spend my money to kill them and inform others how to do so. Organically, spray with Neem oil, differently, you can dust with commercial products to kill these pests.

While good attentions can be admirable at times, to introduce a species that causes as much or more harm as it “might” do good is irresponsible and another example of government ineptness. We the people and residents of this county need to be told well ahead of these types of introduction plans so that public comments can be heard and used as part of the approval process.

I cannot think of one introduction program that worked as intended. Just like the introduction of the wolf back into Yellowstone N.P., no one told them they couldn’t leave the Park. Obviously, no one informed the flea beetles that they were only supposed to kill leafy spurge.

 

Mark Bucksath

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