Why is it a problem?
It is toxic to livestock, reducing livestock carrying capacities by 150%. It is also a secondary host for crop pests and is a serious fire risk during the dry season.
- Poisonous to cattle
- Reduces crop yields
- Increased risk of fire
- Loss of land
- Reduces native biodiversity
- Increases management costs
What’s the solution?
Chromolaena cannot be dug out of the ground, because it’s roots coppice and regrow. Nor can it be burnt off, because it grows back at a much faster rate than native grasses.
Chemical control methods can be effective, but only in the rainy season when the shoots are young. For herbicides to work on a mature plant, they must be applied repeatedly. Even then the treatment is unlikely to be effective.
In South Africa, the larvae of Pareuchaetes pseudoinsulata - a species of moth - is successfully controlling Chromolaena. However, there is evidence to suggest that the strain of Chromolaena found in West Africa is of a different strain. However, research has unearthed a weevil called Lixus aemulus which is shown to reduce biomass and seed production.