Biocontrol approved for fireweed


The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has obtained approval from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to release the Arctiidae moth to combat the spread of fireweed, an invasive pest that is toxic to livestock, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye announced.

An invasive weed from Madagascar, fireweed has infested an estimated 850,000 acres primarily on Maui and Hawaii Island. Fireweed has no natural predators in Hawaii, is drought resistant, and, if left unchecked, could spread to an additional 1.5 million acres in the next 10 years.