Hyacinth cover on 26 October 2023
Hyacinth cover at Hartbeespoort was a mere 6.37% near the end of October and according to the Rhodes University’s Centre for Biological Control (CBC) the abundance of the hyacinth bug Megamelus scutellaris is steadily increasing.
According to a report published last week, nine rearing stations around the Hartbeespoort Dam have released approximately 180 500 bugs from August to October 2023. Due to increased favourable conditions, in October alone, approximately 135 500 individuals were released.
CBC held a biocontrol agent rearing training workshop at The Coves in Hartbeespoort in September that was attended by stakeholders from all over South Africa. “We were so pleased to witness the more established stations sharing their advice of what they have learnt over the years and offer tips to the newly established stations. One of our goals is to create a community of practice where stakeholders can gain insight from each other as we tackle the water hyacinth problem in South Africa and it was a pleasure to interact with everyone that attended. Together with our partners, the outlook of using biocontrol to fight water hyacinth in the coming season is a positive one and we hope to achieve successful results as has been done in previous years,” CBC said.