What is biocontrol?

Category: Genetic Biocontrol

The wasp Aleiodes indiscretus is used to control gypsy moth.  They can be reared to large numbers and released in pest-infested areas
Image: Public Domain.

Biocontrol, short for biological control, uses living organisms to reduce and control populations of pest organisms. In classical biological control the pest organisms can be an invasive animal or plant species with no or few natural enemies in its new location, and the biocontrol agent is a natural enemy of the pest species imported from the pest’s home range.


Depending on the nature of the pest species, control agents might be pathogens, insects, grazing or predatory animals. There also are other biological control strategies that do not involve importation of natural enemies and focus on augmenting or promoting populations of native species that can control the pest.

For more information:

Biocontrol in Australia: Can a carp herpesvirus (CyHV-3) deliver safe and effective ecological restoration?

Biological control of pests and a social model of animal welfare

Biocontrol: what is it?

North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) is a good place to explore this topic further.

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