Biological control is the use of natural enemies of various types, often insects and mites (for example, arthropods), but also nematodes, and micro-organisms to suppress a pest population. Arthropod biological control may target pest species of insects and mites as well as many weed species, and can be combined with other methods for sustainable, long-term integrated pest management. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has a long history of work in the area of arthropod biological control, conducting collaborative research projects with Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) for over 70 years.
Many years of study are required to identify and evaluate potential biological control agents appropriate for release into the Canadian environment, and there is robust federal regulatory oversight for the implementation of biological control. A petition for import or release providing detailed information on the biology, ecology and other relevant information is submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). CFIA consults with experts prior to making a decision to approve or deny release of the agent.
This Guide, an update of the 2006 version, provides information about the process and requirements associated with first time importation and release of arthropod biological control agents in Canada. Examples and figures are used throughout to illustrate how requirements can be met and sample petitions for weed and arthropod biological control agents are provided. The Guide was developed by AAFC research scientists as an initiative of the AAFC Biological Control Working Group and will be of interest to biological control researchers, petitioners, reviewers and members of the public.
The Guide for the Importation and Release of Arthropod Biological Control Agents, 2017 (full report) is available from Government of Canada Publications.