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ATTENTION: Effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the City will temporarily be suspending in-person services at Utility Customer Service office until further notice.

Bugs battle Brazilian Peppers at McCarty Ranch Preserve

Wednesday 29 January Bugs battle Brazilian Peppers at McCarty Ranch Preserve

Brazilian Peppertree is a well-known invasive species throughout Florida, and it’s one that requires a number of approaches to stop its spread. The UF/IFAS Extension Office launched a pilot program with Port St. Lucie Utility Systems at the McCarty Ranch Preserve in January to release their first biological control agent for Brazilian peppertree—the thrip. A Brazilian native, the thrip is a tiny black bug that feeds on the tree and slows its growth and reproduction. Extension agents and Utility Systems staff released 1,500 thrips on a small section of peppertrees at McCarty Ranch Preserve. The agents plan to check back in one month to see if the thrips are feasting like expected.

Watch video of the release.

Learn more about the integrated management of Brazilian Peppertree.

For more information, contact:
Jenny Tomes
Utility Marketing and Digital Video Coordinator
(772) 871-5131
jtomes@cityofpsl.com  

Utility Systems employees and IFAS Extension Agents hold up cups filled with thrips. Employee gently places thrips on tree leaves.