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Aerial spraying planned to combat invasive plants on wildlife areas

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be aerial spraying for bush honeysuckle on the Mount Ayr, Sand Creek, Dekalb and Red Rock Wildlife Management areas (WMA) in south central Iowa through mid-November.  Spraying will occur after most trees have lost their leaves but while the honeysuckle leaves are still green.

Bush honeysuckle is an invasive species that is bad for the native wildlife community and makes hunting difficult. 

“There is usually a small window each fall after the native plants have become dormant when we can spray the honeysuckle with glyphosate (Round-up) and kill it without doing damage to the native plants,” said Josh Rusk, wildlife technician with the Iowa DNR’s Grand River Unit. “This appears to be the most cost effective way to reduce this nasty invasive.”

Bow hunters need to be aware of the aerial application to avoid getting sprayed while deer hunting.

“We will put up signs and flyers on windshields a day or two prior to the spraying,” Rusk said.  “We will have the pilot make a loop over the area to be sprayed as the final warning. It should be safe to return within hours of application.”

For questions or concerns about the aerial spraying, contact Josh Rusk with the Iowa DNR’s Wildlife Bureau Grand River Unit, at 641-783-2166 or Todd Gosselink with the Iowa DNR’s Wildlife Bureau Red Rock Unit at 515-238-6936. 

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