Today the US Environmental Protection Agency approved a new weapon in the fight against invasive species:  Zequanox.

Zequanox, manufactured by Marrone Bio Innovations, is a biological product which the company claims can be used to fight off invasive mussels in enclosed systems and infrastructures. According to a statement made by the company, “Zequanox is the first biopesticide available for controlling zebra and quagga mussels, which are crippling industrial and commercial operations by restricting water flow in heat exchangers, condensers, fire suppression systems, and service and cooling water systems, as well as by damaging other infrastructure and equipment.”

Zequanox is produced from a naturally occurring microbe (Pseudomas fluorescens) and has been shown to be highly lethal to zebra and quagga mussels, without harming humans, infrastructures, or native species. Mussels recognize the Zequanox as a food source and once it is ingested it quickly destroys the mussel’s digestive system.

The bacteria used in Zequanox is so remarkably safe for native species because it is “Omnipresent everywhere,” according to Dr. Daniel Molloy (seen in the video below), “It is already in the lakes and that is because it lives in soil, and its job is to protect plant’s roots.”

Zequanox’s key advantages:

  • Up to a 90% mortality rate in targeted colonies.
  • Treatments can occur during the workday and can be completed within hours—without having to schedule downtime.
  • Can be used as a control agent for mussel in all life stages.
  • Effective in broad range of water temperatures.
  • Applies with standard injection equipment.
  • Applicators need only minimal personal protective equipment.
  • Detoxification is NOT required before discharge.
  • Zequanox is noncorrosive and nonvolatile.
  • Constant equipment maintenance is NOT required to ensure efficacy.

Zequanox is already slated for testing in several locations across the country. Minnesota’s Douglas County Lakes Association invited Molloy to begin testing this summer. The tests will begin in power plants.

Bonnie Huettl, Douglas County Lakes Association president described her reasons for jumping on the Zequanox bandwagon to the Alexandria Echo Press, “This is cutting edge […] We should go forward while we still have a chance.”

To see an hour-long presentation from Dr. Daniel Molloy on Zequanox visit http://www.minnesotawaters.org/content/zebra-mussel-collection-zequanoxtm-efficacy-evaluation-douglas-county.

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