Purple Loosestrife

Biocontrol of Purple Loosestrife - an informal, educational, civic-service activity


Purple loosestrife is a widespread and serious problem that affects wetlands, lakes, and waterways throughout the United States. Control by conventional means (water level management, burning, herbicides, direct digging, cutting) has proven to be extremely difficult and is impractical on a large scale. Biological control of purple loosestrife by introduction of natural enemies from its native range offers an alternative. Youth can contribute to controlling loosestrife if provided with the right tools and adult guidance. Download or purchase the curriculum and get started!

Objectives of biological control of purple loosestrife:

  1. Increase wetland diversity by introducing biological controls of purple loosestrife.
  2. Enlist local wetland stewards in a community service project.
  3. Support these efforts with non-formal curriculum materials.

Specific rules and regulations vary by state. Click on the appropriate link to find out your state requirements:

Indiana - Illinois - Other states

Question: Where can I find Galerucella beetles for this project?

Answer: We recommend that you collect from sites that have well established populations of beetles. These beetles are hardier because they have over wintered outdoors and near the new site that they will be transferred to (assuming that you can find them close). This will require locating someone who has been involved with the project in the past and can direct you to likely locals. It might be a teacher, 4-H leader, Department of Natural Resource employee.