Beetles used as ‘pest’ control

Tamarisk Tree

Tamarisk Tree

The tamarisk trees that line Lake Havasu on the shores of area beaches have been introduced to their enemy, and one Arizona Farm Bureau official is happy about it.
The trees, also referred to as salt cedars, are not native to Arizona and consume too much water, according to Joseph Sigg, the government relations director at the AFB. The trees invade the shoreline of the lake including the Rotary Park area and the Island.
The trees have become unpopular among farmers, ranchers and water authorities as they feel their existence hinders water conservation.
“We’re always looking for more ways to generate more water and these trees are extremely thirsty trees,” Sigg said. “The idea is to replace them with something that better conserves water.”
Enter the tamarisk beetle, a leaf beetle used by land managers as a pest control agent for the water-intensive trees. The beetles basically consume the trees, leaving the branches withered.
Sigg said the beetles aren’t the ultimate solution of ridding the state of the invasive trees but they are a cost-effective solution to the issue. Read more