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UConn Hosting Beetle Farmer Workshops
Released: March 17, 2005

Release #05011
Beth Krane Email
(860) 486-4656 (office) (860) 648-8910 (home)

STORRS, Conn.— How can ordinary citizens help weed out a growing concern in Connecticut – the spread of a beautiful, but invasive, plant – by becoming beetle farmers?

The public is invited to attend either of two beetle farmer workshops, co-sponsored by the University of Connecticut’s Department of Plant Science, March 21 and March 23, to learn how to raise leaf-eating beetles and release them as part of a biological control campaign to stop the spread of purple loosestrife.

The first workshop will be held March 21, from 7 - 9 p.m., at the Carpenters Local 24 Hall, 500 Main St., Yalesville. It is co-sponsored by the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association.

The second workshop will be held March 23, from 7 - 9 p.m., at Manchester Community College’s Learning Resource Center. The event is co-sponsored by Manchester Community College.

Purple loosestrife, an invasive, non-native plant found in wetlands, chokes out native plants such as cattails, sedges, bulrush and ferns and will be added to the state’s list of banned plants in October. Workshop participants will learn how to raise the beetles, to be released during the summer, at home. The process uses potted purple loosestrife, a fine mesh bag and parent beetles and produces as many as 1,000 new beetles.

Both workshops are free. To register, contact Donna Ellis, a UConn extension educator, at (860) 486-6448.

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