Agriculture > All Agriculture > ANR-1034

Biological Control of Musk Thistle
Kathy Flanders, Wheeler Foshee, Ron Smith, John Everest
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Pages / Length: 4
Publication Date: 03/10/2001

Musk thistle, Carduus nutans, was introduced into the eastern United States in the 1800s. It is widely distributed in Alabama and is a serious weed in pastures, roadsides, and waste areas (idle ground). Herbicides have been used to control this and other thistles for many years. Frequent mowing can also help reduce thistle populations, and hand removal is effective for removing small, localized infestations. There is now a fourth option for controlling musk thistle: biological control using beneficial insects that feed almost exclusively on musk thistle.