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

Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news