Biological control, or biocontrol, is the use of living organisms such as insects or pathogens to reduce pest populations in a way that they can then be managed. This is a cost effective option that doesn’t require the use of chemicals and is of no threat to human health. This method also provides landholders with an additional tool in their fight against invasive pest plants.
Bundaberg Regional Council operates a bio-control facility for the breeding of a weevil (Cyrtobagous salviniae), brought into Australia many years ago from Brazil by the C.S.I.R.O, to be used in the fight against the aquatic pest plant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta).
Salvinia Weevil - Cyrtobagous salviniae
Council also breed and release the Leaf-mining Jewel Beetle (Hylaeogena jureceki) to control the invasive pest plant Cats Claw Creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati). The beetle lays eggs on the leaves of the vine, and when the larvae hatch the leaf is then quickly eaten. The beetle has proven to be extremely effective in greatly reducing the speedy growth rate of the problematic vine.
Leaf-mining Jewel Beetle - Hylaeogena jureceki
Land holders interested in accessing either the Jewel Beetle or Salvinia Weevil can contact one of Council's land protection officers on 1300 883 699.