Biological control agents are organisms such as insects, nematodes, fungi or viruses that can be used to control and reduce weed populations. They are natural enemies of the target weeds, usually originating from Europe and Asia.
The use of insects for weed control is the most common type of biological control used in the TNRD. Biological control is suitable for large, dense infestations where other management strategies are neither cost-effective nor environmentally desirable. A good example of such an area in the Thompson-Nicola Region would be knapweed infestations on steep slopes covering a large area of grasslands. Biological control is also commonly used on sensitive sites, near water, on steep slopes or sites that have gravelly soil conditions. Biological control typically takes a few years to see results and will not completely eliminate the weed. Biological control will need to be incorporated with other weed management tools, such as reseeding, herbicides or mowing, to acheive the greatest success.
The TNRD offers biological control agents to private landowners, free of charge.
Insects are available for the following invasive plants:
Availability of insects varies throughout the season. Please contact the TNRD for more information.