Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are dumping into an East Texas lake thousands of tiny beetle-like weevils they say will munch on and destroy an invasive exotic plant that’s carpeted areas of water with thick mats, threatening to erase all life beneath it.
The distribution Wednesday of some 7,000 weevils native to South America into parts of Lake B.A. Steinhagen is the state’s latest effort to try to halt the spread of giant salvinia.
The fast-growing plant, also native to South America, looks like small heads of lettuce or squished green grapes. It’s infested fresh water lakes and waterways across the South, thriving in areas of moderate climate and shallow lakes like Steinhagen, about 125 miles northeast of Houston in Tyler County.