Monday, September 29, 2003

Disease Trumps Weed

Officials from all levels of government met in Santa Rosa, California last week to discuss plans to control the invasive aquatic species water primrose (Ludwigia hexapetala) in the Laguna de Santa Rosa. But, according to this article in The Press Democrat, the aquatic weed has become a top priority not because of the fact that it now covers over 300 acres of the Laguna, but because it is prime mosquito habitat, and officials are highly concerned about stopping the spread of West Nile virus (Flavivirus sp.). Mosquito larvae and eggs can escape pesticide sprays from within the flowers and leaves of water primrose plants. The goal of significantly reducing populations before next spring will likely be accomplished with herbicide application. (Bonus points to The Press Democrat for using the scientific name.)

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