An Australian weevil may be the answer to a pest tree infesting the Florida Everglades, the U.S. Agriculture Department said. The melaleuca tree--classified as a weed--competes with the park's native vegetation for growing room and absorbs water four times faster than native saw grass. Scientist Joe Balciunas, who is in Townsville, Australia, said the weevil-- Oxyopos vitiosa-- feeds on the growing tips of the tree's branches. Many of the melaleuca trees were planted in the 1940s and 1950s to help control erosion.
From Times Staff and Wire Reports
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