Critters Unleashed to Attack "Mile-a-Minute" Vine

Friday, Sep 20, 2013  |  Updated 1:27 PM EDT
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Tiny beetles will be unleashed on the invasive species of vine at two locations each in Queens and the Bronx, and one on Staten Island.  Rob Schmitt reports.

NBC 4 New York

Tiny beetles will be unleashed on the invasive species of vine at two locations each in Queens and the Bronx, and one on Staten Island. Rob Schmitt reports.

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Officials in New Jersey have unleashed thousands of weevils to devour the so-called mile-a-minute vine weed that's been flourishing since Superstorm Sandy.

The tiny bugs only eat the mile-a-minute weed.

The weed, which thrives on sunshine and moist soil and can grow up to 6 inches a day, has been spreading throughout Watchung Reservation since Sandy downed shade trees.

The weed also gained strength from a wet summer. 

New York City officials recently announced plans to do the same in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.

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Union County Parks and Community Renewal environmental specialist Betty Ann Kelly tells The Star-Ledger of Newark the reservation's trails may need more than 2,000 weevils to keep the weed in check.

Officials say the 2,000 bugs that have been released are expected to multiply over the next two years, battling the weed as it advances. 

 


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