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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Safety Harbor considers goats, beetles, inmates to fight air potato plant



There is an infestation of invasive vines on city property. What should Safety Harbor do?


A) Rent or buy some hungry goats.

B) Release exotic-plant-eating beetles.

C) Hire prisoners to cut the vines.

D) All of the above.

It may sound like a joke, but Safety Harbor is considering those options to get rid of air potato plants that spread wildly in recent years, strangling thousands of trees with piles of thick vines that can grow 8 inches a day or 70 feet in a single summer.

Native to Asia and Africa, each air potato vine drops hundreds of brown "potatoes" as small as a pea or large as a melon. Each one sprouts more vines, which in turn drop hundreds more potatoes.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Sunday, September 22, 2013 4:17pm]


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