What You Can Do
Increased awareness and changes to everyday actions can help stop the spread of exotic invasive species in Illinois; you can help stop the spread.
Follow these simple steps to help stop the spread of Invasive Species:
Aquarium and water garden enthusiasts
- Do not release aquatic invasive plants into any waters; dispose of unwanted aquarium or water garden plants in the trash.
- Select non-invasive aquatic plants for your water garden or fish tank; there are many native and non-invasive alternatives you can buy instead of invasive plants.
- Rinse your aquatic garden plants before planting.
- Keep aquatic plants contained in your water gardens.
- Don't release unwanted aquarium fish and other pets, live bait or other exotic animals into the wild. If you plan to own an exotic pet, do your research and plan ahead to make sure you can commit to looking after it.
Hikers, hunters, and campers
- Clean your boots and clothing before you hike in a new area to get rid of hitchhiking weed seeds and pathogens.
- Don't use invasive plants in food plots and clean all soil and plant material off of equipment used to install food plots
- Don't move firewood (it can harbor forest pests).
Anglers and boaters
- Clean all plant stems and fragments and mud from boats and trailers before leaving your lake or river.
- Empty all water from live well before moving to a new body of water
- Dispose of leftover bait in the trash, not in the water
- Clean out waders and wading boots before moving to a new body of water
- Verify that the plants you are buying for your yard or garden are not invasive.
- Replace invasive plants in your garden with non-invasive alternatives (More information on non-invasive alternatives can be found at http://mipn.org/MIPN%20redraft2.pdf and http://www.chicagobotanic.org/research/conservation/invasive/chicago)
- Ask your local nursery staff for help in identifying invasive plants!
- Control invasive species if they occur on your land
- Don't "pack a pest" when traveling. Fruits and vegetables, plants, insects and animals can carry pests or become invasive themselves. Throw out food before you travel from place to place.
- Volunteer at your local park, refuge or other wildlife area to help remove invasive species.
- Help educate others about the threat of invasive species.
Modified from http://www.nature.org/initiatives/invasivespecies/help/, http://www.MIPN.org, and http://www.protectyourwaters.net/