Air Potato Leaf Beetle Program

Property owners interested in combating the invasive Air Potato Vine have a new resource.

The latest weapon in the fight against the Air Potato Vine is the result of collaboration among the USDA, the Florida Department of Agriculture, and the University of Florida. This program involves the release of the air potato leaf beetle across the state of Florida in an effort to control this extremely invasive, non-native plant.

Homeowner’s or individual property owners who have the Air Potato Vine growing on their property are invited to participate in this program by helping to spread the beetle in our area. The beetles may be obtained by request via email from either:

Dr. Veronica Manrique, UF/IFAS Research Center in Fort Pierce at

vero72@ufl.edu,

Ken Hibbard, FDA in Fort Pierce

Kenneth.Hibbard@freshfromflorida.com

The adult air potato leaf beetles live 5-7 months and females can lay as many as 4,000 eggs. Significant damage is done to the plant by the beetles, which lay their eggs on the underside of the air potato leaves.

The Florida growing season for the persistent and fast growing vine is March to October.

Please help eradicate this invasive species by requesting your beetles today!

Click for more information on the Air Potato Vine.

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