Do Butterfly Bushes Spread: Controlling Invasive Butterfly Bush?

The following are some facts about Do butterfly bushes spread: controlling invasive butterfly bush. There are many kinds of butterflies that live in our area. Some species have been here for centuries while others were introduced into the region only recently. One of these invasive species is the common or Indianmeal moth (Lymantria dispar). This insect causes a great deal of damage to native plants and trees in its range. Native to India, it was brought over to North America by European settlers. It is not uncommon for the caterpillars of this insect to cause significant damage to crops. This is especially true if they are feeding on milkweeds and other milk-producing plants.

Native Americans used the caterpillar as a source of food until Europeans discovered their value in curbing malaria epidemics among slaves working on plantations in the New World colonies. Unfortunately, the caterpillars are very hardy and can survive in almost any climate.

They breed readily and reproduce quickly. By the time they reach adulthood, they can devastate a field of crops. Native Americans knew that these insects could cause problems but did nothing about them because there was no way to control them except with pesticides which had harmful side effects such as cancer causing chemicals being released into the environment.

Invasive species like this one pose a threat to agriculture all across the world. They can wipe out entire crops and ruin farmers financially.

This is especially true if they are found in mass quantities. To combat this threat, there are several different ways of controlling invasive species. One way is to introduce natural predators into an area to eat the pests that have been damaging crops. Another way is to use pheromones to disrupt their mating cycle so that they cannot reproduce as quickly.

Sources & references used in this article:

Production and invasion of Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) in Oregon by J Ream – 2006 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu

Investigating the role of herbicides in controlling invasive grasses in prairie habitats: effects on non-target butterflies by CC LaBar, CB Schultz – Natural Areas Journal, 2012 – BioOne

Predicting the spread of an invasive plant: combining experiments and ecological niche model by SK Ebeling, E Welk, H Auge, H Bruelheide – Ecography, 2008 – Wiley Online Library

Exploring stakeholders’ attitudes and beliefs regarding behaviors that prevent the spread of invasive species by G Prinbeck, D Lach, S Chan – Environmental Education Research, 2011 – Taylor & Francis

Evolution in invasive plants: implications for biological control by H Müller-Schärer, U Schaffner, T Steinger – Trends in ecology & evolution, 2004 – Elsevier

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