Musk thistle, introduced into the United States from Europe more than 100 years ago, is classified as a noxious weed in Tennessee, where it infests thousands of acres of land. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has been mandated by the state to control musk thistle along roadways. Until 1990, TDOT relied heavily on herbicide applications and mowing to control it. However, because of increasing public concern about potential groundwater contamination and the use of chemicals in general, coupled with increasing costs for herbicides, TDOT began to reevaluate their strategies for managing musk thistle. As a result of a research project by TDOT and the University of Tennessee on biological controls, two plant-feeding weevil species are being used to control musk thistle. In addition to reducing annual expenditures for control of musk thistle, the use of the weevils provides (a) a nontoxic, nonpolluting means of controlling thistle area wide, (b) a control method that is compatible with other means of control, such as mowing and herbicides, (c) permanent, self-perpetuating means of control, (d) reduction in dependency on herbicide use for thistle control, and (e) reduction in labor-intensive methods for thistle control.

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  • Publication Date: 1992-1

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 22-23
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 158
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00622292
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 31 1992 12:00AM