It was during the 1920s that Prickly Pear, an introduced noxious plant species, was having a devastating effect on rural properties, infesting over 60 million acres of land in Queensland and New South Wales. The problem was so serious that the Prickly Pear Destruction Committee was set up. In 1926 the Camden News reported that Prickly Pear was steadily insinuating itself throughout the districts of Campbelltown, Picton and Camden. The answer to eradicating this problem plant came in the form of the cactoblastis cactorum, commonly known as the Cochineal bug, the larvae of which draws food and moisture from the Prickly Pear, ultimately killing it.
|from 1987 booklet "Prickly Pear Pest in NSW". An infestation of Prickly Pear.|
This biological control agent was so successful that by the 1930s all large infestations of Prickly Pear in Australia had been successfully reduced. Vic Ducat played his small part in one of the most successful stories of weed control in Australia.
Written by Claire Lynch
"Campbelltown's streets and suburbs : How and why they got their names" by Jeff McGill, Verlie Fowler and Keith Richardson
Grist Mills Vol. 9 No.1
"Badgally Road Campbelltown : The other side of the line" by Marie Holmes