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Oregon Biological Control Program
As part of its IPM approach to managing noxious weeds, Oregon Department of Agriculture emphasizes the use of biological control. Oregon is one of the leading states in the US when it comes to implementing biocontrol.

Many of our worst weeds originated from Eurasia. ODA works with the USDA and other scientists who go to the homeland of the weed to seek host specific natural enemies to be tested as candidates for introduction to the US as biocontrol agents. The agents are rigorously tested to make sure that they are safe and will not become pests of crops and native plants before they are introduced. Once determined to be safe, USDA scientists make sure that biocontrol agents are clean from disease and parasites before they are released in Oregon.

Once released and established in Oregon, ODA staff and cooperators collect and redistribute biocontrol agents to other infested areas throughout the state. ODA has released 71 species of biocontrol agents against over 30 species of weeds.

ODA has adopted the International Code of Best Practices for biological control of weeds, in that only safe, effective and approved natural enemies will be used for biocontrol.

It may take 10-20 years for a biocontrol project to successfully control a weed at the regional scale. Biocontrol agents destroy plant tissues and cause stress to the weeds, making them less competitive against desirable flora.

Bioagent target list and associated agents

Bioagent history and decision making chart

Biological Control Release Form (pdf 92kb)

Code of Best Practices(pdf)