News Stories

Weeds as a Terrorist Weapon

Weed control has become a matter of national security. Along US southern coastal rivers, most particularly Texas' Rio Grande, an invasive species of plant known as giant reed is encroaching on the water, overrunning international border access roads, and creating a dense cover for illegal activities.

So far, there's no evidence that it's being deliberately planted, but that could be the next step. Aerial photography by the US Department of Homeland Security reveals that this giant reed, known as Carrizo cane in Texas, is a nonnative bamboo-like plant that can grow more than 32 feet tall.

Our weapon against this is the eurytomid wasp, which is a specific enemy to the giant reed, and unlikely to harm native plants.

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