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A New Weapon in Colombia’s War on Drugs: Cocaine-Eating Moths

Coca-hungry moth larvae could soon replace toxic sprayed herbicides.

Banded tussock moth. Image by Rhododendrites via Wikimedia Commons

The government of Colombia is trying to recruit cocaine’s biggest fan—no, not Rick James—to help them finally clear the country of the illegally grown drug. The favorite food of the Cocaine Tussock Moth larva is, as its name implies, the leaves of the coca plant. Alberto Gomez, head of the Quindio Botanical Garden, (a Colombian preserve with a building shaped like a giant butterfly), has suggested a plan to flood the country with a horde of the hungry little insects as an alternative to spraying pesticides.

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