Residents get tips on how to control salvinia at LSU AgCenter meeting

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Salvinia is an invasive aquatic weed that has been a growing problem in Louisiana waterways since it was transported from Brazil in the late 1990s.

Though it is likely never to be completely eradicated, there is a unique way to control the problem and so far, it has been successful.

On Thursday night, concerned residents had a chance to attend an LSU AgCenter meeting at the Rice Research Station in Crowley. The topic: Salvinia management.

Herbicide specialist Dearl Sanders explained the best way to deal with the invasive weed isn't by chemicals, but by weevils.

The weevils come from Brazil and are called cyrtobagous salviniae, and though it can be time consuming to breed them, they have had the best results in the fight against this invasive plant.

Dr. Dearl Sanders said, "They went to Brazil, they found the weevil growing on the plant ... brought it back up here, ran it through quarantine. We started growing weevils and releasing them."

Residents who have been experiencing problems with salvinia on their property walked away from Thursday's meeting with some new information on how they can control the problem.

Don Whitley, who has been dealing with salvinia that has grown to two feet above water, was very pleased with the results of the meeting.

"But now we found out what we can and can't do with the weevils and what spray we can and can't use and stuff like that," Whitley said.

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