Brice Prairie Conservation Association

Preserving Lake Onalaska and the Black River Bottoms

loosestrife plant

Purple Loosestrife Control Project Insectary

The BPCA established a Galerucella spp. beetle rearing insectary on its Brice Prairie property in 2001 to support the purple loosestrife control project with locally-raised beetles. The initial beetle stock was obtained from the Wisconsin DNR. To establish the insectary, 6 to 10 purple loosestrife plants were collected from a loosestrife stand located near County Highway Z in La Crosse County during early May and then transported to the BPCA clubhouse. Netting was placed over the top of the plants to confine the beetles and to prevent predation on the beetles.

BPCA Insectary

BPCA's Galerucella spp. spp. beetle rearing insectary

Once introduced to the insectary, the Galerucella spp. adults reproduce, lay eggs, and die. After two to three weeks, the eggs begin hatching and larvae begin to voraciously feed on the insectary plants before pupating into the adult stage. By mid-July, the adults in the insectary begin congregating at the top of the netting that was placed over the insectary plants to confine the beetles. The insectary loosestrife plants are then destroyed, and the beetles are transported to the release site.