This week (February 21-27) is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. The goal of the week is to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species.
What is an invasive species? The term “invasive” is often used to describe something that appears to be taking over a garden or landscape. However, according to the National Invasive Species Council, a true invasive species is a non-native plant, animal or pathogen that causes economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.
This week we'll be blogging daily about invasive species that are important to know about in California. Tune in each day to learn about a new pest. Visit the University of California web sites about exotic and invasive pests: UC Riverside's Center for Invasive Species Research and UC IPM's Exotic and Invasive Pests.
What you can do to help (from the National Invasive Species Awareness Week web site):
- Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension office and the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
- Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
- Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
- Don't move firewood - instead, buy it where you'll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org
- Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as "weed free."
- Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
- Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities.
- Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
- Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.