More field days scheduled to collect spurge-eating insects

Leafy spurge plant with flea beetle

July 7, 2020

BISMARCK – Field days have been finalized at multiple North Dakota sites to collect and redistribute flea beetles that eat leafy spurge.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said persons interested in acquiring the flea beetles to release on their own property can collect them from established populations at the field day sites.

“Leafy spurge continues to be one of North Dakota’s most difficult-to-control noxious weeds,” Goehring said. “Using the flea beetles for biological control, as part of an integrated pest management plan, has proven to be an effective tool in combatting leafy spurge infestations.”

The field days are scheduled as follows:

  • Morton County - 10 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 7 – Wildlife management area 7 miles south of the Mandan airport.
  • Stark County - 10 a.m. MDT, Wednesday, July 8 - Lehigh Drive – from I-94 Business Loop East, turn south on Energy Drive. Just after crossing the railroad tracks, turn east onto Lehigh Drive. Follow Lehigh Drive for half a mile and park in the large opening near the railroad crossing. There will be signs along the way to direct you.
  • Grant County – 10 a.m. MDT, Thursday, July 9 – Lake Tschida Boy Scout Camp.
  • Benson County – 11 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 9 (alternate date Friday, July 10 in case of inclement weather) – one-half mile east of Pleasant Lake rest area, south side of Highway 2.

Stutsman County will not be hosting a public event but Stutsman County residents looking for flea beetles may reach out to local weed officer Ron Manson at (701) 320-4512.

All attendees are asked to help collect and all beetles collected are distributed evenly. Attendees should bring a cooler with ice packs to transport the flea beetles and are asked to bring sweep nets if they have them.

More information and specific directions to field day sites are available by contacting the applicable local weed control officer:

  • For Billings County, contact Katie Dillman at (701) 218-0113.
  • For Grant County, contact Merlin Leithold at (701) 220-7908.
  • For Benson County, contact Tim Finley at (701) 798-2776.
  • For Morton County, contact Cody Schnabel at (701) 391-8006.
  • For Stark County, contact Travis Jepson at (701) 456-7665.

The field days are co-hosted by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the weed boards of the respective counties.