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Overseas Biological Control Laboratories (OBCL)
Research Highlights

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Directors of the Overseas Biological Control Laboratories publish news articles to highlight their current work and success stories. 


Evaluating Biological Control Agents of Australian Pine

Three species of Australian pine, or Casuarina species, are fast growing evergreen trees that have become serious invasive weeds of agricultural, urban and coastal areas in the United States especially in Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii and Texas...more

Allium Leaf Miner: A Threat to Allium Crops in the United States

The Allium leaf miner (ALM), native to Europe, is an economically important leaf-mining fly. It attacks many species in the onion family including leek, chives, onion, garlic, shallot and ornamental allium plants...more

Harvesting Agriculture’s “Natural” Insect Farms: ARSX 2021 Winning Project

ARSX is an internal competition to USDA Agricultural Research Service employees and  awards $100,000 to winning teams with compelling research ideas. Among the three winners of this year’s ARSX challenge seeking for bold, transformative ideas to “Harvest for a Healthier Future” is a project titled Harvesting Agriculture’s “Natural” Insect Farms led by Alexandra Chaskopoulou, medical entomologist for the European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) in Thessaloniki, Greece...more

Augmentorium: A Promising Pest Management Tool for Controlling the Olive Fruit Fly

The regulation of insect pests by their natural enemies under field conditions is the goal of biological control, but natural enemies can sometimes use a little help...more

Using the Sterile Insect Technique Against the Bagrada Bug

To combat the spread of the invasive stinkbug, Bagrada hilaris, commonly known as the Bagrada bug, on several economically important plants in the Brassicaceae cabbage family in the United States, the European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) staff and partners are developing environmentally compatible biological control strategies...more

Can Non-Target Lupines Withstand A Sea of French Broom Psyllids?

Psyllids are currently under investigation at European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) as potential biocontrol agents against French broom. Psyllids are sap-sucking insects that impact their host plants by intense feeding pressure and the production of high levels of honeydew...more

Using a new diagnostic approach for screening biological control agents  

Cytisus scoparius, also known as Scotch broom, is a woody shrub native to western and central Europe and a serious invasive weed in the United States and New Zealand. As part of a biological control program in New Zealand, a sap-sucking insect Arytainilla spartiophila, also known as the broom psyllid, was imported from the United Kingdom, and released to New Zealand in 1993...more

A New Mite in France in the Pipeline for Fighting Tree-of-Heaven

European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) researchers recently discovered an eriophyid mite species, Aculus mosoniensis, in several localities in France. This species is negatively impacting the growth of juvenile tree-of-heaven plants when present in large numbers...more

Trypanosomatids as Potential Biocontrol Agents for the Bagrada bug?

Bagrada hilaris, commonly known as the bagrada bug, is an invasive pest of economically important crops in the United States. It mainly attacks plants in the Brassicaceae, the mustard family of flowering plants...more

Saving Prickly Pear Populations from the Cactus Moth

Opuntia cacti, commonly known as prickly pears, are a group of flowering plants in the cactus family. Like most true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Americas. Prickly pear species are abundant in the arid, semiarid and drought-prone western and south central United States and Mexico, especially in the central and western regions, as well as in the Caribbean islands (West Indies)...more

Exploring Natural Enemies of the Invasive Yellow Floating Heart in China

Native to China, Nymphoides peltata, commonly known as yellow floating heart, is a highly invasive aquatic weed. It has been introduced into several countries including Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States...more

See previous OBCL Research Highlights