OLYMPIA - A three-year pilot project using an aquatic beetle to tackle a milfoil infestation in Capitol Lake is off to a good start.
On Wednesday, a team of scientists from Ohio-based EnviroScience surveyed a 3-acre lake lagoon where, in mid-August, they released about 12,000 weevil eggs and larvae in hopes they would bore into the stems of the milfoil plants and mature into weed-munching adults.
The pond next to the Capitol Lake Interpretive Center has the densest pockets of milfoil left in the 250-acre lake since it first was infested in 2001.
“I’m happy to see there is damage on the plants,” said Nancy Cushing, an EnviroSciences aquatic biologist.
EnviroSciences specializes in biological control of milfoil invasions in lakes by capturing and rearing native aquatic weevils that feed on milfoil, then releasing them by the thousands where milfoil invasions occur.
The $75,000 Capitol Lake project financed primarily by the state Department of Ecology is the first large-scale use of milfoil weevils in Washington, company President Martin Hilovsky said.
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