Its that time of year again! The Neponset River Watershed Association is looking for Beetle Ranchers. Little beetles (“Galerucella”) are raised in local backyards then released to help control the exotic, invasive Purple loosestrife plants that have spread throughout local wetlands.
The vigorous Purple loosestrife outcompetes local, native wetland plants and changes habitat and food for native wildlife.
Galerucella change this trend. By feeding on Purple loosestrife, these beetles and their larvae can prevent the plants from growing as vigorously. Light is allowed into the wetland once again to nourish native plants, and fewer Purple loosestrife seeds are added to the seedbank.
NepRWA’s goal is to release enough Galerucella beetles in Fowl Meadow to reduce Purple loosestrife over the long-term, enable native plants to grow successfully, improve habitat and food for wildlife, and encourage wildlife to return.
To be a Beetle-Rancher:
- The spot where you plan to grow plants must receive at least 6 hours of sunlight (all day is best).
- You must be able to fit one kiddie pool in your growing space.
- You must be able to participate March through mid-July. During that time, you will receive training, prepare and/or pick-up ready-made materials, and also harvest, raise and release plants and beetles.
Beetle-ranching is a great activity for individuals, families, associations, classes, clubs, organizations, scouts and more.
To be a Beetle-Rancher, email Carly Rocklen, or call 781-575-0354 x303 by March 1st.
Please forward this message to anyone you know who may be interested!