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Becker County Ag Inspector Marsha Watland demonstrates how she collects the tiny weevils that are used to control the noxious weed known as spotted knapweed. The weevils are placed on the weeds, where they lay their eggs and eventually destroy the plants. Vicki Gerdes/DL Newspapers

Tiny weevils new weapon in war on noxious weeds

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DETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- July is the height of the growing season for many grains, fruits and vegetables in northwest Minnesota.

Unfortunately, it is also prime time for the spread of a particularly noxious weed, known as the spotted knapweed.

Once it has infested a meadow, pasture, roadside ditch or similar area, the weed can take between 6 and 8 years to eradicate, said Marsha Watland, agricultural inspector for the Becker County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

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