Controlling Weeds Using Biological Methods


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada pioneered the use of biological control agents in Canada. The first biological control program started in B.C. in the early 1950s. At that time, two beetle species were released to control the spread of St. John's Wort, a perennial weed that was a serious pest in fields and on roadsides. Since the 1950s, biological control work in B.C. has expanded to include noxious weeds such as knapweed, leafy spurge, toadflax, and hound's tongue. In 1984, the Ministry of Forests initiated a formal biological control program. The headquarters for the program is located at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Station in Kamloops. From its inception, the program has involved screening, propagation, field release and monitoring of introduced biological control agents. St. John's

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) has been successfully reduced in B.C. by biological methods.

Much of the program's success is due to the cooperation among the agencies involved. The agencies participating with the B.C. Ministry of Forests include the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the B.C. Cattlemen's Association and the International Institute of Biological Control (I.I.B.C.) in Switzerland. Cyphocleonus

Cyphocleonus achates (shown in its larval and adult stages) is one of the biological agents used to control spotted knatweed

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