gypsy moth

Biocontrol: Fighting Invasives with...Invasives

Oct 19, 2016
Macroscopic Solutions / flickr/cc

 We kick off the second season of NHPR's newest show, Outside/In, with a discussion of  biological control: using non-native species to combat destructive invasive pests and plants that are decimating a local species.  It's the focus of the Outside/In episode titled "Never Bring a Sledgehammer to a Scalpel Fight."  This approach to managing invasive species, used by scientists for over a century, has had some spectacular failures, but there have been many success stories as well.  We'll look at the history of the approach, the arguments for and against, and examine the philosophical implications.  Is biological control messing with Mother Nature or our only hope against invasive species changing the landscape?   


There’s been a lot of talk about Gypsy moths this year, especially in southern New England, where trees in some areas have been hit pretty hard by this voracious caterpillar. And it has sparked a lot of discussion about how people might help reduce the damage, but it’s worth remembering that the trees these caterpillars feed on are not entirely helpless.