Description of practice

Biological weed control uses other organisms to remove or control the weeds. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory or other natural mechanisms and typically also involves an active human management role.

Examples of how to use biological weed control Further information
(see Note below)

AMP75 01

Animal grazing

Herbivores with different preferences can be used to control certain weeds. Goats are browsers that can control toxic or thorny plants (e.g. leafy spurge, knapweed). Care should be taken that grazing animals do not feed on crops.


»Rodale Institute

AMP75 02

Grazing as part of integrated weed control practice

Sheep are used to graze vineyards during autumn and winter when the vines are dormant. This is an example of an integrated weed control practice.


»Insects - Wilson & Daane

AMP75 03

Biological control agents

The alligator weed flea beetle (Agasicles hygrophila) is used as an agent for the biological control of the aquatic plant alligator weed.



AMP75 04


Fungi (like Chondrostereum purpureum and Lasiodiplodia pseudotheobromae) are applied as mycoherbicides to 'weed' trees. The fungus is applied directly to the trees in a nutrient paste or inserted as a capsule in the stem.


»BioHerbicides Australia

AMP75 05

Conservation biocontrol

Existing natural enemies of weeds and other pests are protected or provided with habitats. This conservation biocontrol is the main strategy for promoting weed seed removal by predators and microorganisms.



Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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