The water hyacinth, a South American aquatic weed, is widely considered to be one of the most problematic plants in the world.
It has spread around the globe and infiltrated local waterways, making them hard to access. It is also a challenge to the environment, as it outcompetes native species and creates a dense mat covered in leaves that blocks sunlight from reaching animals and plants below.
The planthopper has been shown to be an effective biological control tool against the invasive plants in South Africa
In 2019, the Center for Biological ControlThe CBC, a Rhodes University institution in the country’s Eastern Cape Province introduced a new tool to fight invasive species: a native invert called the planthopper.
Since 2019, the CBC has bred nearly one million planthoppers at a specialized facility. The insect army was activated on Hartbeespoort Dam, where hyacinth covers 40% of the water’s surface.
A film by Jason Boswell