Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Lace bug helping with woolly nightshade war

Lace bug helping with woolly nightshade war

18 August 2014

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been testing out a new weapon to fight the pest plant woolly nightshade. The results are looking promising especially for forest owners.

Regional Council Land Management Officer Andrew Blayney said heavy damage to woolly nightshade has been seen at a Welcome Bay property this year following the release of 300 lace bugs there in 2010.

“It’s a landowner’s responsibility to control woolly nightshade on their own property. We help them do that as effectively as possible, such as by testing new control methods. We’re one of the first regions to use the lace bug through the National Biocontrol Collective. We knew it would take some time to see the results, but this year we’re really starting to see the bugs make an impact across the whole 70 hectare site,” he said.

“This is part of our work to keep woolly nightshade in check throughout the Bay of Plenty. We’re increasing our surveillance, compliance and biological control development efforts now, instead of directly subsidising landowner control efforts,” Mr Blayney said.

Woolly nightshade is a problem weed because of its ability to grow in dense stands that crowd out more desirable pasture and forest plants. It is covered in fine hairs which can cause skin, eye, nose and throat irritations for people and stock who come into contact with it.

The lace bugs feed on the leaves of woolly nightshade, drying them out and stunting the growth of the plant. This prevents plant reproduction, reducing spread, and can eventually cause the plant to die.

“We’re getting better results from the lace bugs here than in other parts of the country. They’re doing especially well in shaded areas such as under pine trees. That’s a good sign because controlling woolly nightshade in pine blocks has been difficult to date,” said Mr Blayney.

“Traditional control will still be needed. We can’t supply lace bugs for use on all properties in the Bay of Plenty, but once established in our worst affected areas, they should help reduce large weed infestations and will disperse naturally on to surrounding properties over time.”

“The next release sites will be large pine blocks that are infested with woolly nightshade. We’d love to hear from anyone that has a suitable site,” Mr Blayney said.

Land occupiers in the Bay of Plenty are legally responsible for controlling woolly nightshade on their own properties. Information on controlling woolly nightshade and other weeds is available at www.boprc.govt.nz/pestplants or by calling a Land Management Officer, phone 0800 884 880.

The 2010 Bay of Plenty lace bug release was completed through the National Biocontrol Collective which is made up of regional councils, unitary authorities and the Department of Conservation, working together with New Zealand Landcare Research who led the lab testing and breeding.

“Lace bug is originally from South America. We followed a really rigorous process before releasing it here – that included ten years of research by New Zealand Landcare Research, consultation with iwi and approval by the Environmental Risk Management Authority,” Mr Blayney said.

Facts about lace bug
• The lace bug is 5mm long
• Like woolly nightshade, lace bugs are native to South America.
• Female lace bugs can lay up to 900 eggs 0.5mm in length.
• The lace bug has been used successfully as a biocontrol agent in South Africa for a decade
• See Landcare Research factsheet for further information:http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/20547/Woolly_Nightshade_Lace_Bug.pdf

Facts about woolly nightshade
• Scientific name: Solanum mauritianum
• Also known as tobacco plant
• A shrub or small tree, growing up to 10m tall
• Leaves are large and greyish-green, covered in felt-like hairs and has a kerosene-like pungent smell when crushed
• Flowers are purple clusters at ends of branches almost year-round
• Large berries – initially green but ripen to yellow
• Toxic to humans and possibly stock – irritates the skin, eyes, nose and throat
• Seeds mostly spread by birds
• Native to South America and introduced to New Zealand as a garden plant

Visit the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website for high resolution images

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Bullish On China Shopping: Trade Minister On Premier's Visit

Q+A: Trade Minister Todd McClay – not ruling out a conversation around Chinese workers coming to New Zealand to work on infrastructure projects as part of trade talks:

‘Yeah, well, that’s not something that’s on the table at the moment, but, look, what we’ve agreed as part of the, you know, when we start the upgrade negotiation, both sides can raise issues that are of importance to them. We’ve got a list of things we want to talk about. China may well have.’ More>>

 

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news