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The Waainek Mass Rearing Facility

In order to maximise the potential of weed biological control, high numbers of healthy insects are required, these agents can be mass reared. This waterweed mass rearing facility was established in 2008 at Waainek in Grahamstown during the first phase of the Working for Water funded aquatic weed project. Since then the mass rearing programme has been upgraded and expanded. In 2009, the first people were employed including three people from our Sisonke Programme (persons with disabilities), they are employed to assist with maintenance of the facility and the collection of the insects to send to various infected sites. There are currently 6 people with disabilites employed at the facility. Through the mass rearing of biological control agents at this facility, millions of agents have been released in invaded areas all over the country to reduce alien invasive plant populations.

If you wish to find out more about releasing agents, contact the manager at the facility Maretha Boshoff:

Phone: +27 (0)46 603 7176

Email: m.boshoff@ru.ac.za

The table below lists all the biological control agents that are mass reared at the facility:

Invasive Plant
Biological Control Agent

Salvinia molesta (Kariba weed)

Cyrtobagous salviniae

Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce)

Neohydronomus affinis

Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrot’s Feather)

Lysathia sp.

Azolla filiculoides (Red Water Fern)

Stenopelmus rufinasus

Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth)

Eccritotarsus catarinensis

 Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth)

Neochetina eichhorniae

 Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth)

Neochetina bruchi

 Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth)

Megamelus scutellaris

Last Modified: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:57:07 SAST