Leafy Spurge Beetles

What is Leafy Spurge

Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) is a rapidly spreading invasive plant that can be difficult to manage. Leafy Spurge is estimated to be infesting an estimated 2 million hectares of rangeland and riverside habitats in North America. This weed crowds out native plants and produces a sap which is toxic to cattle. Leafy spurge is controlled by producers with a variety of methods including herbicides, bio-controls, and manual or mechanical controls.


Leafy Spurge beetles are an effective bio-control used to help manage the spread of these plants. Leafy spurge beetles use the leafy spurge plant as their main food source. The leafy spurge beetle larvae feed on the roots of the weed, while the adult beetles consume the above ground portion of the plant before it produces seeds.

Beetle Distribution to Producers

The Old Wives Watershed partners with other watersheds groups in the province to conduct a Leafy Spurge Beetle Collection Day. In 2020, a total of 55,000 beetles were distributed to sites across southern Saskatchewan.

That’s a lot of beetles!

If you have leafy spurge in the Old Wives Watershed area and are interested receiving beetles. Contact us and we can put you on our waiting list for next years collection day!

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