Controlling Weeds Using Biological Methods

RELEASING AGENTS IN THE FIELD

Biological control agents are released primarily by Ministry of Forests staff.  They are often assisted, however, by staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, and the general public.

The initial sites for field release are chosen carefully to ensure that the agents will survive under field conditions. These release sites must contain a sufficient number of the target noxious weeds to support the biological control agents.

Yellow
Toadflax
Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris L.)

Once the agents have increased their numbers on field sites, they are collected and redistributed to other locations. This increases their geographic distribution, improving their control of weeds.

Biological control agents can be hand picked, vacuum aspirated or gathered with nets. Minimal handling and prompt release of agents improves the success of their introduction.


MONITORING AGENTS IN THE FIELD

Release sites are monitored for one to two years to determine if the agents are established. Once they are established, selected sites are monitored to determine the population size, spread and efficacy at controlling the noxious weeds.
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