2017 Air Potato Challenge!

2017 Air Potato Challenge: Leaf Beetles Available for the Public June 16

 The UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County Extension Office and the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center will be conducting the Air Potato Challenge event on Friday, June 16 between the hours of 1 – 4 p.m. St. Lucie County residents are invited! Learn more about invasive air potato and the air potato leaf beetle and pick up a supply of beetles for use on their properties. Preregistration is not required.

Air potato is one of Florida’s most problematic invasive plants. The air potato leaf beetle is a small but formidable enemy of this invasive plant. It is a bright red insect about the size of a pinky fingernail. Has a big appetite for the air potato plant. Air potato vines can completely consume natural areas, smothering other plants and native habitat.  The air potato leaf beetles are host-specific to air potato and they will not harm other plants. The beetles chew through air potatoes leaves, leaving them riddled with holes. 

During this event, residents struggling with invasive air potato can come to the UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County to learn about this invasive pest plant and receive a supply of air potato leaf beetles for use on their properties. There is no charge for this program. The insects will only be available for pick up during this event. They are available on a first come, first served basis. Residents are encouraged to bring a cutting of air potato for confirmation.

What:                  Air Potato Challenge

Where:                             UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County

Address:             8400 Picos Road, Ste 101, Fort Pierce, Fla.

Date:                   Friday, June 16, 2017

Time:                   1 to 4 p.m.

Costs:                  Free of charge

Registration:      Not required

Information:      Call 772-462-1660

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