Biological control methods
Biological control involves the use of insects or pathogens (diseases) that affect the health of weeds (called invasive plants in the Biosecurity Act 2014). Usually, these biocontrol agents are from the same country of origin as the weed species.
Biosecurity Queensland undertakes biological control research in Queensland. Strict measures are in place to ensure that these agents do not negatively affect native plants and animals or horticultural and agricultural crops.
Biosecurity Queensland's biological control group is presently working on 10 weeds of concern to Queensland:
- bellyache bush
- cat's claw creeper
- madeira vine
- parthenium weed
- prickly acacia
- siam weed
- opuntioid cacti.
A number of biological controls have been released at strategic infestation sites, and are spreading to other infestations of their host plant.
Biological control agents can reduce the vigour, size and competitiveness of weed infestations; however, they rarely get rid of them altogether. Biological control works best in conjunction with other control methods.
- Read the listings of restricted, prohibited and other invasive plants, which includes information on how to control various weeds.
- Learn more about lantana biocontrol.
- Read Reclaiming lost provinces: a century of weed biological control in Queensland.