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Home / Invasive Species Resources

Invasive Species Resources

Provides access to all site resources (alphabetically), 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.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is removing a portion of Harris County within the Braeswood area of Houston, Texas, from citrus canker regulations. The successful partnership between APHIS and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has resulted in a citrus canker-free status in this area since 2016.

On May 20, 2016, APHIS confirmed the positive identification of citrus canker in two adjacent sour orange trees in a city park in the Braeswood area of Houston, in Harris County, Texas. TDA removed and destroyed both positive citrus canker trees. TDA established an intrastate quarantine area for citrus canker that paralleled the federal citrus canker regulatory requirements specified in 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 301.75. APHIS completed a comprehensive delimiting survey around the area and found no additional citrus trees positive for citrus canker within the survey area. The removal of this quarantine area is reflected on the APHIS website, which also contains a description of all the current federal citrus canker quarantine areas.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding 37 sections in Charlotte County, 17 sections in Collier County, 45 sections in Glades County, 68 sections in Hendry County, and 28 sections in Lee County, to the citrus black spot (CBS) quarantine area in Florida. We are taking this action because of confirmed detections of P. citricarpa (formerly known as Guignardia citricarpa), the causal agent of CBS, during annual surveys conducted during the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons by APHIS, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (DPI). Federal Order DA-2012-09 outlines these measures and restrictions and parallels DPI’s state-interior quarantine and intrastate movement requirements.

In 2010, CBS was first identified in the Collier and Hendry Counties of Florida. Symptoms of CBS are most evident on mature fruit, with little to no symptoms on leaves. Fresh citrus fruit moved interstate from the CBS quarantine areas must be processed using APHIS-approved methods and packed in commercial citrus packinghouses operating under a compliance agreement with APHIS. APHIS prohibits the movement of any other citrus plant parts outside the quarantine area. The APHIS website contains a description of all the current CBS quarantine areas, Federal Orders, and APHIS-approved packinghouse procedures.

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.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is proposing changes to regulations regarding harmful or potentially harmful fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. The proposed changes significantly reorganize the existing rules to enhance accessibility, meet the changing needs of the regulated community, and address current and potential future threats posed by these exotic species. The proposed rules will be published in the Texas Register no later than Friday, Oct. 2. At that time, comments on the changes can be provided on the TPWD public comment page until Monday, Nov. 9. The TPW Commission will take public comment on the proposed changes at their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10 in Austin. Comments on the proposed changes also can be submitted to Ken Kurzawski at (512) 389-4591, email: ken.kurzawski@tpwd.texas.gov.

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.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a Federal Order (Oct 14, 2021; PDF | 171 KB) that expands the existing imported fire ant (IFA) quarantine areas in North Carolina and Tennessee. APHIS is taking this action to prevent the interstate spread of IFA. APHIS is taking these actions based upon verification from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Consumer and Industry Services that IFA is present and established in the areas listed. For additional information on the Federal IFA regulatory program, please contact the IFA National Policy Manager, Herbert Bolton, at (301) 851-3594 or herbert.bolton@usda.gov.

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.

University of Florida. IFAS Extension.

Argentine black and white tegus have spread and established populations in and around Florida at a rapid and growing rate demonstrating critical implications for native wildlife, numerous natural areas, and even restoration efforts for Everglades National Park. UF scientists at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and partnering agencies have co-authored the “Growth and Spread of the Argentine Black and White Tegu Population in Florida” illustrating the depth and breadth of the tegu problem. The comprehensive fact sheet details the invasion of the species, the tegu population’s increase, impacts for wildlife and natural areas at stake, interagency goals and efforts to reduce the threat, and the implications of species expansion.

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 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

This week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced the eradication of the giant African land snail (GALS) from Broward and Miami-Dade counties. This eradication announcement marks only the second time this pest has been eradicated in the world, both in South Florida. For the past 11 years, the FDACS Division of Plant Industry has worked toward eradication through multiple rounds of visual surveys and inspections, K-9 detector dog surveys and inspections, manual collection and treatment programs. In total, 168,538 snails were collected from 32 core population areas comprised of thousands of properties.

The giant African land snail is a highly invasive agricultural pest, known to feed on over 500 varieties of plants. They also pose a risk to humans and animals by carrying rat lung worm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. Giant African land snail is a federally regulated pest and both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

At its February 2021 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved staff recommendations to create new rules to address the importation, breeding and possession of high-risk invasive reptiles. The approved rule changes to Chapter 68-5, F.A.C. specifically address Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus, green iguanas and 13 other high-risk nonnative snakes and lizards that pose a threat to Florida’s ecology, economy, and human health and safety. For more information, see New Rules for Invasive Nonnative Reptiles.

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

University of Central Florida.

Researchers have published a first- of-its-kind study that shows that near-infrared (NIR) spectrum cameras can help python hunters more effectively track down these invasive snakes, especially at night.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the opening of registration for the 2021 Florida Python Challenge® which will be held July 9-18, 2021. Registration is now open and members of the public can take the online training and then compete to remove invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. Visit FLPythonChallenge.org to register for the competition, take the online training, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge®.