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Home / Invasive Species Resources

Invasive Species Resources

Provides access to all site resources, with the option to search by species common and scientific names. Resources can be filtered by Subject, Resource Type, Location, or Source.

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Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is advising forest landowners to monitor their sassafras trees after detecting new cases of laurel wilt disease in Robertson and Hamblen Counties. In the last quarter of 2019, the disease was detected in trees in Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson and Williamson Counties. "These new detections of this invasive disease show a significant geographic jump across the state," State Forester David Arnold said. "This is yet another unfortunate example of an invasive pest impacting our forests. Landowners should take caution to prevent the spread of this disease if detected on their property."

Laurel wilt is a fungal disease caused by an invasive pathogen, Raffaelea lauricola, which can affect a range of plants, including sassafras and spicebush in Tennessee. Choked of water, trees wilt and die within a few weeks or months. Currently, no treatment has been developed that can cure laurel wilt disease or protect trees from infection. The best way to prevent the spread of laurel wilt is to avoid movement of firewood or other untreated timber. Tennesseans are urged to monitor their sassafras trees for browning of leaves, leaf loss, and staining in the inner bark. If you suspect your trees might have laurel wilt disease, contact Forest Health Program Specialist Sam Gildiner at 615-837-5439 or sam.gildiner@tn.gov. TDA Division of Forestry staff will assist in identifying the disease and recommending management actions, if appropriate.

Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Three Tennessee counties have been quarantined for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) after detection of the forest-devastating insect, bringing the total number of Tennessee counties under a state and federal EAB quarantine to 62. Cheatham, Giles, and Maury counties have been added to the list of areas restricted for the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber, and other material that can spread EAB. The tree-killing beetle was recently found in these three counties through the United States Department of Agriculture’s EAB detection program.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has analyzed the potential environmental effects of establishing an integrated management strategy to control cogongrass in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The draft environmental assessment is now available for comment. Cogongrass is an invasive exotic grass found on public and private property, along roadways, in forests, and on farmland. This federally regulated noxious weed grows rapidly, reducing forest productivity, harming wildlife habitat and ecosystems, and encroaching on pastures and hayfields. Because of cogongrass' impact on agriculture and forest industries, Congress has given APHIS funding to partner with Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina to control the spread of this weed. APHIS is proposing is an integrated management strategy that uses preventive, cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods to control cogongrass in key areas of its distribution. APHIS invites the public to review and comment on this environmental assessment by April 1, 2020.

University of Kentucky. College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment.

The Asian longhorned tick, which preys on a variety of hosts including humans and wild and domestic animals, has been found in Kentucky. This new tick is known to attack animals in large numbers and will be a concern to livestock producers, wildlife enthusiasts and pet owners. The tick has been found in small numbers on elk in Martin County and black bear in Floyd County. It was found in large numbers on a bull in Metcalfe County in the south-central part of the state. Individuals who find a usually large number of ticks on their pet or livestock should contact their local veterinarian. Those who find single ticks they think might be an Asian longhorned tick should work with their county extension agent for agriculture and natural resources to submit the sample to UK entomologists for positive identification.

DHS. Customs and Border Protection.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists have already intercepted a dozen significant and potentially destructive pests this year at various ports of entry in Florida as part of the agency's all-encompassing efforts to safeguard American agriculture.

Unknown pests pose a significant risk in agriculture due to a lack of knowledge in controlling the pests and the extent of damage they can cause to crops. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologists recently classified eight pests discovered by CBP agriculture specialists in Florida as first-in-the-nation interceptions and another pest as a new species.

Mississippi Forestry Commission.

One of the most invasive weeds in the world is beginning to make its way into north Mississippi, announced the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC). "Cogongrass was introduced to Mississippi as a new forage crop, however, it is not palatable for livestock, not even goats will eat it," Bozeman said. "It also failed as an erosion control plant because it was too weedy. With no native competition or consumers, cogongrass spread rapidly throughout the Gulf South." There is widespread cogongrass infestation in south Mississippi, but the MFC is starting to see and get reports of the weed moving into the northern part of the state. If left unchecked, cogongrass could become a statewide problem.

Bozeman wants landowners in north Mississippi to be on the lookout for cogongrass on their property and the notify the MFC if they suspect the invasive weed has taken root. "The Mississippi Forestry Commission can offer assistance to landowners in north Mississippi who have cogongrass on their property," said Bozeman. "We can also come out and help landowners determine if what they are seeing is cogongrass or not." For more information and to fill out the program application, visit the Cogongrass Control Program. If you suspect you have cogongrass on your property, call your local MFC forester to come do a site visit.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has confirmed the first spotted lanternfly hatch of 2020. The first instar nymph of the season was reported by a department employee while surveying for the pest in the upper northeast corner of Cecil County near the Pennsylvania border.

See additional resources on the Maryland Department of Agriculture's site for Spotted Lanternfly for up-to-date information. For questions related to the quarantine, permitting, treatment, or to report a sighting of the spotted lanternfly, especially outside of the quarantine zone, call 410-841-5920 or email DontBug.MD@maryland.gov. If you report a spotted lanternfly via email, please provide the location of the sighting and your contact information.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

All known feral swine have been eliminated from Colorado thanks to a near 15-year state and federal partnership comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS), the USDA Forest Service (FS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The partnership formed in the early 2000s as a task force to manage invasive feral swine, which root up crops and pastures causing billions in damage nationwide each year. Feral swine also spread disease to livestock, wildlife and humans. Ground-nesting birds and other wildlife are easy prey for feral swine. And the swine put native wildlife at risk by competing for resources and destroying habitats and ecosystems. 

You can help keep Colorado free of feral swine:

  • Spread the word that in Colorado it’s illegal to possess, transport or release feral swine, wild swine species or hybrids.
  • Report sightings of feral swine or transportation activities to USDA Wildlife Services at 1-866-4-USDA-WS (1-866-487-3297) or Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192.
  • Get more information at the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program.

Maryland Department of Agriculture.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has confirmed that a single adult spotted lanternfly has been found on a trap in the northeast corner of Cecil County near the border of Pennsylvania and Delaware. This is the first confirmed sighting of the invasive species in Maryland, and the department does not believe there is an established population of the pest in the state. If you suspect you have found a spotted lantern fly egg mass, nymph, or adult, snap a picture of it, collect it, put it in a plastic bag, freeze it, and report it to the Maryland Department of Agriculture at DontBug.MD@maryland.gov.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

On Jan 10, 2020, the Florida Python Challenge™ 2020 Python Bowl officially kicked off in South Florida with more than 550 people registered for the competition to remove as many pythons from the wild as possible. Native to Southeast Asia, pythons pose a significant threat to Florida’s native wildlife. Under the direction of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) have teamed up with the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and other partners to support the Committee’s Ocean to Everglades (O2E) initiative, which features the Python Bowl. It’s not too late! People interested in taking part in the Florida Python Challenge™ 2020 Python Bowl can still register at FLPythonChallenge.org

Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
On Tuesday, April 24, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the Mussel-Free Colorado Act into law in a short ceremony at the Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver. The new law provides a stable funding source of $2.4 million for Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Aquatic Nuisance Species Program for 2019 and beyond.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, Tennessee Department of Health, and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) has announced the detection of the invasive Asian longhorned tick in Tennessee. The Asian longhorned tick has now spread to 11 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is no evidence that the tick has transmitted pathogens to humans or animals in the U.S. Two Asian longhorned ticks were recently found on a dog in Union County, and five were found on a cow in Roane County. In the U.S., the tick has been reported on 17 different mammal species.

Capital Press.

Idaho watercraft inspectors have identified  zebra mussels on a commercially hauled sailboat destined for Lake Coeur d’Alene in the state’s northern panhandle, marking the first time the invasive species has been found live this year.

Utah Department of Natural Resources. 

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) personnel from the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have stopped more than 120 mussel-infested boats this year, most of which had visited Lake Powell, from launching at other Utah waterbodies. So far in 2018, more than 100 mussel-infested boats have been quarantined, a significant increase compared to recent years. "The quagga situation at Lake Powell has worsened. If you boat at Lake Powell it's very likely your boat has quagga mussels on it," said AIS Program Coordinator Nathan Owens. "With more mussels in the lake and lower water levels more boaters have mussels attached to their vessels than in past years. Our techs are regularly finding them on and in boats that have only been in Lake Powell for a day or two — something we haven't experienced in the past." Boaters that visit another lake or reservoir after visiting Lake Powell will have their boat inspected again. If mussels are found the boat will be decontaminated and quarantined, if necessary.

North Dakota Department of Agriculture.
Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), an aggressive pigweed species similar in appearance to waterhemp, has been positively identified for the first time in North Dakota in McIntosh County. Palmer amaranth is native to the southwestern U.S. but was accidentally introduced to other areas and has devastated crops in the South and Midwest. It had not been identified in North Dakota until now. The public is urged to work with local weed officers, extension agents and other experts to identify and report suspect plants. More information on Palmer amaranth and other noxious and invasive weeds is available here. To report a suspect plant, contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-2250 or North Dakota State University Extension at 701-231-8157 or 701-857-7677.

South Florida Water Management District.

Several local and federal agencies today took another step in protecting America's Everglades by releasing an insect reared to combat the invasive Brazilian peppertree. The insects, known as thrips, were reared as part of a joint partnership between the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Park Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to combat invasive plants in South Florida's ecosystem.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Spotted lanternfly is a threat to Maryland and the U.S. The Maryland Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine October 28, 2019 in an effort to contain the invasive species in Cecil and Harford counties after the spotted lanternfly was spotted in Cecil’s northeastern corner and along Harford’s northern border. See additional resources on the Maryland Department of Agriculture's site for Spotted Lanternfly for up-to-date information.

For questions related to the quarantine, permitting, treatment, or to report a sighting of the spotted lanternfly, especially outside of the quarantine zone, call 410-841-5920 or email DontBug.MD@maryland.gov. If you report a spotted lanternfly via email, please provide the location of the sighting and your contact information.

North Dakota Department of Agriculture.
Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale L.) have been added to the state noxious weed list. Palmer amaranth is an aggressive pigweed species similar in appearance to waterhemp and was first found in the state last year. It has now been found in five counties. Houndstongue, which does not spread aggressively like Palmer amaranth, has been found in North Dakota since at least 1911 but infestations have tripled since 2008. It is now found in at least 25 counties. The public is urged to work with local weed officers, extension agents and other experts to identify and report suspect plants. More information on these and other noxious and invasive weeds is available at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/plant-industries/noxious-weeds.
University of Maryland.
Beekeepers across the United States lost 40.7% of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019, according to preliminary results of the latest annual nationwide survey conducted by the University of Maryland-led nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership. Honey bees pollinate $15 billion worth of food crops in the United States each year. The Bee Informed Partnership team said multiple factors are likely responsible for persistently high annual loss rates and this year’s jump in winter losses. They say a multi-pronged approach--research, extension services & education, and best management practices--is needed to combat the problem. The number one concern among beekeepers and a leading contributor to winter colony losses is varroa mites, lethal parasites that can readily spread from colony to colony. These mites have been decimating colonies for years, with institutions like the University of Maryland actively researching ways to combat them.

USDA. Blog.

Early in October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced once again with New World screwworm, which had been eradicated from the United States more than three decades ago. Infestation of this flesh-eating parasite was confirmed in deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.

 

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) immediately began releasing sterile male flies in Florida’s affected areas as part of an aggressive eradication campaign. By March 2017, the screwworm had been successfully eradicated from Florida.