biological control


Definition of biological control

1 : the reduction in numbers or elimination of pest organisms by interference with their ecology (as by the introduction of parasites or diseases)
2 : an agent used in biological control

Examples of biological control in a Sentence

She practices biological control in her gardening. She uses biological controls in her garden.
Recent Examples on the Web At the University of California, Riverside, Mark Hoddle, extension specialist in biological control, is researching bio-interventions to deploy against lanternfly. Marc Mcandrews, Smithsonian Magazine, "Can Scientists Stop the Plague of the Spotted Lanternfly?," 22 Sep. 2020 The league’s 51-page reopening plan calls for games to take place at stadiums with biological controls similar to those required by medical facilities. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Positive Coronavirus Tests Bring Scrutiny to German Soccer’s Reopening Plans," 4 May 2020 It’s regarded as the classic example of biological control of a pest, an alternative to harmful pesticides. John Kelly, Washington Post, "America’s greatest bug expert — Charles V. Riley — is buried in Washington," 22 Apr. 2020 But worry not, says entomologist and biological control specialist Mark Hoddle of the University of California, Riverside, who wasn’t involved in this work. Matt Simon, Wired, "This Hungry Little Beetle Could Help Ease Seasonal Allergies," 23 Apr. 2020 The more tenacious pest is whitefly, and the options for dealing with this range from biological controls that include ordering parasitic wasps to heavy-duty systemic pesticides, with the risk of harm to beneficial insects. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The sultry plant that will break your heart," 13 Aug. 2019 In August 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture approved the lab’s field release of the moths as a biological control agent, giving experts studying the link between the plant and insects freedom to take the research into the wild. Steve Annear,, "‘It’s like a plague’: Arnold Arboretum using moths native to Ukraine to fend off invasive plant," 5 Sep. 2019 But as the examples of the mongoose and cane toad illustrate, biological control can go awry. Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "Invasive species, explained," 5 June 2019 Using biological controls is our best bet in keeping this entire group of trees on our landscape in the long term in North America. Alyssa Lukpat,, "Maine Forest Service releasing wasps to kill invasive forest beetles," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'biological control.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of biological control

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of biological control was in 1916

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Last Updated

27 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Biological control.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for biological control

biological control


Medical Definition of biological control

1 : the reduction in numbers or elimination of pest organisms by interference with their ecology (as by the introduction of parasites or diseases)
2 : an agent (such as pyrethrum) used in biological control

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