Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

Despite that most of us slowed down for the pandemic, invasive species didn’t skip a beat! In fact, some of them thrived this past year without human hands to keep them in control. With that in mind, as we re-enter the world, it is more important than ever to do our part in preventing the spread of invasive species.

Now we know that for some of you that may be asking a lot. But, for others, this may be just what you were made for! Whatever your pace there are many ways that you can help control and prevent the spread of invasives. 

This week Plant Sentry™ is going over three types of invasives we look out for and how to prevent their spread!

When it comes to invasive species there are three categories we like to focus on:

  • Invasive Plant Species
  • Invasive Pests
  • Invasive Diseases
  • Preventing each of these invasives from spreading may seem challenging, but we promise that it’s much easier than you think.

    Invasive Plant Species

    When considering new plant varieties for your garden, you may want to try something new. When doing so it is important to know your native species. 

    It can be tough to remember all of the natives for your area. Make a list before shopping at your local nursery! Doing so will make it much easier to identify the species you’ll want to steer clear of.

    When it comes to preventing the spread of invasive plants, it isn’t just what you buy that will make a difference. How you remove invasive plants is just as important!

    Many areas of the United States have volunteer organizations that focus on training and actively removing invasive species. Joining one of these organizations can help you learn how to properly remove invasives.

    These opportunities also give you the chance to engage in your community and learn something new. To find volunteer opportunities visit the USDA website:

    Invasive Pests

    The second kind of invasive that we like to focus on is invasive pests. These buggers keep the USDA APHIS team busy year-round and can cause quite the commotion when mismanaged. 

    Invasive pests tend to require a little more due diligence and focus when it comes to their removal efforts. To be sure you’re following best practices ask your local extension office and regulatory bodies about treatment methods and any removal suggestions. 

    Expert insight is the difference between rolling the rock up the hill or catching it on the downslope.

    Invasive Diseases

    Much like invasive pests, invasive diseases require a little more work and research before they can be removed. When looking to treat an invasive disease you will want to follow a similar practice to that of the invasive pests. 

    Check with your local extension office, local guidelines, and any regulatory agencies that are also fighting the invasive.

    Chances are there is a treatment protocol in place already and you’ll want to take the expert advice into account. If left untreated, an invasive disease can spread unnoticed wreaking havoc anywhere it can spread. 

    Preventing Invasives

    When it comes to invasive species management the best practice is to prevent them as much as possible. This is the only 100% guaranteed way that an invasive species can be prevented.

    While it is easier said than done, there are many ways that you can help stop the spread of invasives.

    1. Don’t move firewood. Buy your firewood locally and close to your camping locations. Many pest larvae are burrowed in contaminated wood that is then spread to different environments when moved. Prevent the spread and buy what’s there, we assure you we’re saving you in the long run. 
    1. Clean your equipment! Whether it’s a boat, your shoes, your pants, your camping equipment, what have you. Clean all items that may have picked up seeds, pests, or spores before entering or leaving an area where the spread may have taken place. 
    1. When in doubt, turn it down! If you’re not sure about whether it is diseased, contains a pest, or is invasive, leave it be and move onto your next option. While it may not always be preventable or noticeable at the time, invasive species have traits that they are known for and can help guide you as to whether or not it may be one.

    If you’d like to learn more about invasive species and ones that may affect your area be sure to stop by the USDA’s list of invasive species to learn more: