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Posted: Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 11:58 AM HST

State turns to moth to battle fireweed plant

By 67AM KPUA News

State agriculture officials are expected to release about 1,000 fireweed moths from Madagascar at Kahua Ranch in Waimea today. Entomologists are hoping that the moths known as Secusio Extensa will control the fireweed plant, which has been damaging
large tracts of pasture land.

The plant contains alkaloids toxic to cattle and horses and
has become a growing problem for ranchers on Hawai`i Island and Maui since the late 1980ís. The department said the caterpillar stage of the moth will eat the fireweed and control its spread, though it may not eliminate it.



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