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You are here: Home / Manager's Tool Kit / Control / Control Mechanisms
Manager's Tool Kit
Control Mechanisms

There are three main methods used for control of invasive species -- biological, mechanical, and chemical.

Biological control is the intentional manipulation of natural enemies by humans for the purpose of controlling pests. Mechanical control includes mowing, hoeing, cultivation, and hand pulling. Chemical control is the use of herbicides. You can also use a combination of these three methods in an integrated weed management approach which some authorities would consider as the fourth method.

Provides general resources for biological, chemical, and mechanical control methods. See other sections for species specific information:

Selected Resources:


Regional Listening Sessions Give Farmers a Voice in the Battle Against Herbicide Resistance (Feb 27, 2017)
Weed Science Society of America.
Both scientists and regulators have had a lot to say about the growing problem of herbicide resistance and how weed management techniques need to change in response. But there have been few organized opportunities for farmers to make their voices heard and to share their experiences in managing herbicide-resistant weeds.

All that is changing with a series of seven regional listening sessions sponsored by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), the United Soybean Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Farmers across the nation are being invited to share their challenges, successes and opinions.

Best Management Practices for Invasive Species
USDA. NAL. National Invasive Species Information Center.
Provides best management practices to prevent or mitigate invasive species establishment or movement.


Integrated Weed Management Resource Center
USDA. ARS. Integrated Weed Management Resource Center.
The Integrated Weed Management (IWM) Resource Center is a place to find helpful, trustworthy resources on using integrated weed management for herbicide resistant weeds. Provides a clearinghouse of reliable educational resources necessary to integrate new weed management practices successfully, from trusted sources throughout the U.S.
See also: Weed Management Toolbox

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health; Nature Conservancy. Global Invasive Species Team.
Invasipedia houses information on invasive plants, animals, and pathogens, and especially how to best manage them. Its foundation is the large amount of species management information originally developed by The Nature Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Team (site no longer supported) and is now supported by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Its continued growth depends upon your contributions.

Pesticide Risk Tool
IPM Institute of North America.
Formerly the Pesticide Risk Mitigation Engine, the Pesticide Risk Tool is a user-friendly, innovative online tool that ranks pesticide products for impacts on birds, earthworms, small mammals, aquatic ecosystems, worker/bystander health, consumer health and pollinators. This tool applies best available science to permit producers, advisors and regulatory professionals to compare different pest management scenarios for any commodity and select options with the fewest potential environmental and health hazards.

Federal Government

Biological Control Program
USDA. FS. Forest Health Protection.

Biological Control: Important Tool for Managing Invasive Species
USDA. ARS. Agricultural Research Magazine (Mar 2000 - Vol. 48, No. 3).

Inspection and Cleaning Manual for Equipment and Vehicles to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species (May 2010; PDF | 13 MB)
DOI. Bureau of Reclamation. Policy and Program Services.
Technical Memorandum No. 86-68220-07-05
This manual provides recommendations for inspection and cleaning of vehicles and equipment as a prevention tool to limit the spread of invasive species. The manual will help equipment operators gain a better understanding of how invasive plants and animals are spread by contaminated equipment into new locations and has broad applications for many organizations and agencies.

Integrated Pest Management Program
DOI. National Park Service.
See also: Integrated Pest Management Resources

International Government

Assessing and Managing Invasive Species Within Protected Areas: A Quick Guide for Protected Area Practitioners (2009; PDF | 3.9 MB)
Convention on Biological Diversity.


EDIS Topic - Biological Control
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source - publication resources; provides resources and publications for beneficial insects and nemotodes, biological control of weeds, biological control for insect management, and biological control with mites.

Biological Control: A Guide to Natural Enemies in North America
Cornell University. Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Biological Control of Forest Pests in the Eastern United States
University of Massachusetts - Amherst.


Control of Invasive Species: A Synthesis of Highway Practice (2006)
National Academies. Transportation Research Board.
National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP Synthesis 363).
This synthesis reviews federal, state, and regional approaches; prevention, early detection, and rapid responses; identification of aspects of operations and risks; statewide inventories; and information management. In particular, this report synthesizes the state of the practice in developing Integrated (Roadside) Vegetation Management, along with physical, chemical, biological, and cultural control mechanisms.

Tools of the Trade
Nature Conservancy. Global Invasive Species Team.

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Last Modified: Aug 25, 2018
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