Cochineal control invasive plans

Michael Craig, Glencairn Heights

I refer to the article, “What to do about cochineal on cacti and prickly pear plants”, Echo July 15.

The prickly pear plant and many cacti are serious alien invasive plants. Cochineal was introduced in order to control these plants. In the Eastern Cape, for example, thousands of hectares have been invaded by the prickly pear and jointed cactus, seriously degrading these lands.

Treating cochineal is really counter-productive and should be discouraged. In fact, gardeners should destroy any cacti in their gardens as these problem plants originated from gardens. They propagate easily from a section or leaf on the ground.

It is important to note that South Africa has no indigenous cacti.