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Mite might help rid Bay of broom

Mite might help rid Bay of broom
For immediate release: Friday 11 December
You can hardly see it with your naked eye, but it’s got a ferocious appetite for broom and has just been unleashed on the Bay of Plenty - it’s the broom gall mite, the latest biological control agent to be released in the region.
Environment Bay of Plenty pest plant officer Des Pooley said adult mites had been released in the Gatatea area last week.
“Broom is an aggressive pest plant that’s well established in the Bay of Plenty, especially in inland parts of the region.”
“The damage is done to broom by the mites forming galls on successive years’ growth that stunt, reduce flowering and even kill whole bushes,” Mr Pooley explained.
Mr Pooley also said the release of these mites should help to reduce sprays and pesticides that are used to control broom.
The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) has approved the release of the broom gall mite as a biological control agent in New Zealand.
Following the release of the broom gall mite the site will be monitored. When sufficient numbers have been established the mite will be redistributed to other parts of the Bay of Plenty.
Environment Bay of Plenty assists Landcare Research with funding for biological control programs. This mite joins the broom psyllid and the broom shoot moth as the third biological control agent targeting broom to be released this year.


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