Oregon is a US leader in implementing biocontrol as part of
its integrated pest management approach to managing noxious weeds. The Oregon
Department of Agriculture (ODA) Noxious Weed Program has adopted the
International Code of Best Practices for biological control of weeds. Only
safe, effective, and approved natural enemies will be used for biocontrol.
What are biocontrol agents?
ODA works with USDA and other scientists who visit the
original location of the weed to find natural enemies that can be tested as
candidates for introduction as biocontrol agents in the US.
Before release in Oregon, agents are rigorously tested to
ensure they are the following:
- Safe and will not become pests of crops and native plants
- Clean from disease and parasites
How do they work?
- Biocontrol agents destroy plant tissues and cause stress to
the weeds, making them less competitive against desirable flora.
- Once the agents are released and established in Oregon, ODA
staff and cooperators collect and redistribute biocontrol agents to other
infested areas throughout the state.
- It may take 10-20 years for a biocontrol project to successfully
control a weed at the regional scale.
Oregon noxious weed biocontrol agents