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Counties all across ND are distributing flea beetles to help North Dakotans get rid of leafy spurge

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:06 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Summer months mean one North Dakota noxious weed is in its peak season, leafy spurge.

Counties all across ND are distributing flea beetles to help North Dakotans get rid of the weed.

Leafy spurge is an invasive weed that has infested around 800,000 acres of land in North Dakota.

It competes with other plants, overgrows and has no beneficial use for farmers or ranchers, but flea beetles eat leafy spurge.

That destroys root tissue and weakens the plant, making it more susceptible to other methods of control, such as herbicides. Farmers, ranchers, and landowners can come to their county's field day to collect the flea beetles they need for free.

Attendees should bring a cooler with ice packs to transport the flea beetles, and are asked to bring sweep nets if they have them. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said, "They can actually net some of the flea beetles, take them back and re-introduce them, or introduce them into places where they have leafy spurge and see if they can get them established."

As of now there are field days scheduled in Grant County on July 9 at 10 a.m. at Lake Tschida Boy Scout Camp. Benson County July 9 at 11 a.m. Central time one-half mile east of Pleasant Lake rest area, south side of Highway 2. For specific directions on how to find your county’s field day, reach out to your county weed control officer.

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