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Kudzu: A Biological Cautionary Tale

A true, cautionary tale!


Over the years, there have been a number of plants and insects brought into this country with the idea of solving problems. I can think of three very good reasons for why this is not the best method, and why we should be very cautious in the use of any "non native" plants or pests to solve any type of problem, whether to add forage crops, or control pests. The three reasons are: Johnsongrass, Bahiagrass, and Kudzu. Kudzu will be our example.

Kudzu 

Kudzu, a native to Japan, Asia and China, was introduced in the U.S. in the 1870's as a grazing crop, and an ornamental vine. It's use was encouraged as an erosion control. In the Southeastern United States, it found growing conditions which caused it to escalate, and become a serious environmental threat. It now destroys forest and crop lands, dismantles fences, encroaches on roads and bridges, and threatens power lines. I have observed it on warm summer days, elongating, swaying, finding a weed and wrapping around it, and elongating more, in just a matter of minutes. It appears almost animal like in such conditions.

Damage is estimated in the millions. Hundreds of thousands of acres of forest, crop, and grazing lands have been destroyed, and the problem extends into the environmental arena, due to the loss of bio-diversity in these areas.

Research into the best control methods is ongoing. Some are even working on methods involving insects which are predators in the vines natural habitat.

Does that sound familiar?

Caution should be the word of the day!

To get started on your very own home pest management program, just see: How To Use This Site,Prevention Starts Outdoors, or our Prevention Program page. Just follow the links at the bottom of each page, for a step by step program. There are many other resources on this site so be sure to take a look at our Main Directory

Conventional Pest Control Service: IPM based




Contact us at: james@bugsandweeds.com

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