Biological control

Biological control is the beneficial action of parasites, pathogens, and predators in managing pests and their damage.

Biocontrol provided by these living organisms, collectively called “natural enemies,” is especially important for reducing the numbers of pest insects and mites.

Use of natural enemies for biological control of rangeland and wildland weeds (e.g., Klamath weed, St. Johnswort) is also effective.

Plant pathogens, nematodes, and vertebrates also have many natural enemies, but this biological control is often harder to recognize, less well understood, and/or more difficult to manage. Conservation, augmentation, and classical biological control are tactics for harnessing natural enemies’ benefits.

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