NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Thousands of tiny insects are helping Rhode Island environmental officials battle and invasive plant known as the mile-a-minute vine.

University of Rhode Island Entomologist Lisa Tewksbury tells WJAR-TV she is rearing and releasing more than 18,000 weevils this year, in hopes they will eat a lot of the plant, also known as devil's tail.

The fast-growing, spiky vine took a foothold in the northeastern United States after arriving from Asia in the 1930s.

Tewskbury began using weevils in 2009 and releases them between May and October. She says the weevils won't get rid of the plant, but hopes are they will be part of a long-term management strategy.


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