Biological control uses the invasive plant’s natural enemies (primarily insects and pathogens) to reduce invasive plant populations to a desired level. Effective biological control releases provide self-perpetuating, self-dispersing, continual control of invasive plants and can be a very cost-effective and environmentally compatible control method. Biological control may be the only option for the control of invasive plants when infestations are very large or in riparian areas where chemical or other control methods cannot be used.
Treatment impacts include:
- decreased invasive plant reproduction and competitive abilities,
- decreased invasive plant densities, and
- native vegetation re-establishment.
Biological control establishes a long-term balance between the biological control organism and the invasive plant; however, this treatment method is most effective when combined with good land management practices. It is important to note that biological control organisms are thoroughly tested prior to introduction to insure that they will not harm native vegetation and ecosystem integrity. Good information exists online at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/Plants/biocontrol/index.htm