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Invasive Species Resources

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Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Asian giant hornet is the world's largest species of hornet. In December 2019, WSDA received and verified four reports of Asian giant hornet near Blaine and Bellingham. These are the first-ever sighting in the U.S. Canada had also discovered Asian giant hornet in two locations in British Columbia in the fall of 2019. If it becomes established, this hornet will have serious negative impacts on the environment, economy, and public health of Washington State. If you think you may have spotted an Asian giant hornet, report it using the Hornet Watch Report Form.
See also: Learn more about Asian giant hornets and WSDA’s program to eradicate them.

Government of British Columbia. Ministry of Agriculture.

Three Asian Hornets (Vespa mandarinia) were found in the Nanaimo area on Vancouver Island in mid-August. The identification has been confirmed by Canadian and international experts. This is the first time this insect has been found in British Columbia. Please report suspected Asian giant hornet sightings to the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia.

Pollinator Partnership.

National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. In 2007, the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

See also: Pollinator Week Proclamations Span the United States and Galvanize Citizens (Jul 19, 2019 | PDF 65 KB) -- June 17-23, 2019
ALL 50 state governors (and many mayors), have signed proclamations supporting the observance of National Pollinator Week. In addition, more than 350 events (breaking all previous records) across North America and the world are registered through P2’s Pollinator Week web site.

Purdue University.
A major tool in the fight against invasive species is the Report INvasive website, hosted by Purdue College of Agriculture and the Indiana Invasive Species Council. The website includes several ways that people can report invasive species, including a smartphone app from the Great Lakes Early Detection Network. “There are not that many specialists and experts covering the state,” Sadof said. “When there are concerned citizens reporting, however, we have many more eyes and a better chance of detecting and eradicating a harmful species early.”
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) established a Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine for Frederick County and the city of Winchester, effective immediately. The purpose of the quarantine is to slow the spread of the spotted lanternfly to uninfested areas of the Commonwealth. Early detection is vital for the management of any newly introduced plant pest. For more information on Spotted Lanternfly in Virginia, see: Plant Industry Services (scroll to SLF section).

The spotted lanternfly was first detected in Winchester in January 2018. Subsequent surveys conducted by VDACS indicate that the pest has become established in the city of Winchester and spread into Frederick County, just north of Winchester. Prior to the January 2018 detection in Virginia, the only Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) found in the U.S. was in Pennsylvania. Populations are now established in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and northern Virginia.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its State partners have successfully completed actions to eliminate Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 from U.S. greenhouses. This announcement comes just two months after the pathogen was first detected in a Michigan greenhouse in April. In total, the response involved more than 650 facilities in 44 States. R. solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 can cause a wilt disease in several important agricultural crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. This was the first confirmed case of this pathogen in U.S. greenhouses since 2004. APHIS continues to strengthen overseas safeguards, improve diagnostics, increase treatment options, and continually assess pathways to better protect American agriculture from this and other high-consequence plant pests and diseases.

Weed Science Society of America.

Both scientists and regulators have had a lot to say about the growing problem of herbicide resistance and how weed management techniques need to change in response. But there have been few organized opportunities for farmers to make their voices heard and to share their experiences in managing herbicide-resistant weeds.

European Commission.

The European Commission has adopted a comprehensive new Biodiversity Strategy to bring nature back into our lives and a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. The two strategies are mutually reinforcing, bringing together nature, farmers, business and consumers for jointly working towards a competitively sustainable future. The new Biodiversity Strategy tackles the key drivers of biodiversity loss, such as unsustainable use of land and sea, overexploitation of natural resources, pollution, and invasive alien species. The strategy proposes to, among others, establish binding targets to restore damaged ecosystems and rivers, improve the health of EU protected habitats and species, bring back pollinators to agricultural land, reduce pollution, green our cities, enhance organic farming and other biodiversity-friendly farming practices, and improve the health of European forests. The strategy brings forward concrete steps to put Europe's biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030, including transforming at least 30% of Europe's lands and seas into effectively managed protected areas and bringing back at least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.

Australian Invasive Species Council.

A new report has identified an international 'bug superhighway' capable of carrying a large variety of environmentally destructive overseas insects into Australia. The study, led by Monash University, rated the environmental harm being caused by 100 of the worst overseas insect species and recommends a string of actions to keep them out of Australia. The most dominant group of invasive insects by far are the hymenopteran insects – ants, bees and wasps – making them the world's most environmentally harmful invasive insect species.

"Our report found that environmentally harmful bugs, beetles, ants and moths are most likely to hitch a ride into Australia along an international bug superhighway made up of imported plants, nursery material and the timber trade," said report author Professor Melodie McGeoch from Monash University. The report identifies the international trade in cut flowers and foliage as a high-risk pathway for more than 70 of the species studied. Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said this is the first time Australian and international scientists have comprehensively analysed which invasive insects overseas are doing the most environmental harm and could therefore threaten Australia's natural environment if they breach the nation's borders.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Trying to reduce the spread of invasive species in Rhode Island waters, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has amended the state's Freshwater Fisheries Regulations to prohibit the transport of any plant or plant part into or out of any Rhode Island waterbody on any type of boat, motor, trailer, fishing supplies, or gear. The new regulation carries a $100 fine for each violation. "Many of the aquatic invasive plants in Rhode Island can reproduce from just one small plant fragment and do not need entire root systems to successfully establish in a new spot," said Katie DeGoosh-DiMarzio, Environmental Analyst with DEM's Office of Water Resources. "Cleaning off every bit of plant from recreational gear used at one pond is essential before visiting another — this includes boats, kayaks, canoes, motors, trailers, paddles, jet skis, fishing gear, waders, water tubes, and anchors. These efforts help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species in Rhode Island waterbodies."

Government of Saskatchewan.

Today, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan introduced the Government of Saskatchewan’s new Aquatic Invasive Species Strategy during an address to the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation’s (SWF) annual convention in Weyburn. The new framework is designed to help the province prevent, address and manage aquatic invasive species (AIS) threats. The ministry and the SWF are partners on the province’s AIS Task Force – which focuses on additional education and monitoring activities – along with other government agencies, conservation groups, non-government organizations and universities. "This strategy emphasizes the need for collaboration and co-ordination with provincial and federal government agencies, non-government organizations and neighbouring jurisdictions to prevent the introduction and spread of high-risk aquatic invasive species," Duncan said. The province's new AIS Strategy, as well as further information about AIS and fishing, is available online.

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

The plot could have come from Hollywood — an insidious alien invader threatens to overrun the land, but intrepid scientists discover a secret weapon in the far-off, exotic land of Nepal and bring the pestilence to heel. But this is not fiction; it's true. The air potato plant (Dioscorea bulbifera) is an exotic vine from Asia that was introduced to Florida about 115 years ago to make medicine. After escaping from the lab, it multiplied and smothered native plant communities in all of Florida's 67 counties. It spread beyond to large swaths of land in the southeastern United States. All attempts to manage the air potato – mechanical, chemical, or physically gathering the bulbils — were unsuccessful; they were either too labor intensive and costly or caused collateral damage to native and endangered species. According to Min Rayamajhi, a plant pathologist at the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Invasive Plant Research Laboratory (IPRL) in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the vines return every season, repeating the growth cycle and expanding the invasion at a rate of about 6 inches per day. Rayamajhi and retired ARS scientist Bob Pemberton traveled to Nepal and accidentally discovered the air potato beetle.

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

A map identifying the areas suitable for establishment of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) in the United States and other countries has been published in the Journal of Economic Entomology by Agricultural Research Service scientists. The SLF, originally from China, has spread to Korea and Japan, and has been found most recently in the United States in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Delaware. These insects are pests of many agricultural crops including almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, peaches, grapes and hops as well as hardwoods such as oak, walnut and poplar, among others. USDA and State partners have been working to contain SLF populations since 2014. There is the potential for far reaching economic damage if the SLF becomes widely established in the United States.

University of Western Australia.

New research from The University of Western Australia has shed light on why some invasive plants make a better comeback after a fire, outstripping native species in the race for resources.

Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission today reported that populations of the invasive, parasitic sea lamprey remain at near-historic lows, below targets, in Lakes Michigan and Ontario, and above target, but holding steady, in Lakes Huron, Superior and Erie. Sea lamprey populations in Lake Huron are close to target levels and have been holding steady for the past five years. Abundances in Lakes Superior and Erie remain above target but have also decreased significantly since the near-record highs observed in 2017. Sea lampreys are the worst of the alien species to invade the Great Lakes. Before control, sea lampreys destroyed many times the human fish catch. Today, sea lamprey control is the foundation of the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery. The Commission and its partners are encouraged by the overall decrease in abundance of sea lampreys throughout the Great Lakes basin during 2019, but caution that environmental conditions, such as a prolonged spring and high precipitation events, contributed to the decrease.

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.

DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Injurious wildlife provision of the Lacey Act provides effective tool to halt the introduction and spread of species that have been identified as imminent and serious threats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took action to help ensure 10 nonnative freshwater fish species and one nonnative freshwater crayfish species do not become established in the United States and damage native wildlife and habitats.

DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing a $100,000 challenge to combat white-nose syndrome (WNS), a lethal fungus that has killed millions of bats in North America and pushed some native bat species to the brink of extinction. Funding will be awarded to individuals who identify innovative ways to permanently eradicate, weaken or disarm the disease.

There is no known cure for white-nose syndrome, but scientists worldwide are working together to study the disease and how it can be controlled. Much of this work has been conducted under the umbrella of the U.S. National Response to White-nose Syndrome, a broad, multi-agency effort led by the Service.

The Service will host a White-Nose Syndrome Challenge webinar Nov. 20, 2019, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET for the public to learn more about the challenge guidelines, judging criteria, timeline and more. The deadline for individuals or teams to enter the challenge is Dec.31, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. ET. Winning ideas will be the focus of future collaborations with scientists, designers and engineers to bring solutions to life. Additional information regarding rules and eligibility is available at White-nose Syndrome Challenge.

USDAAPHISPPQCPHST. Identification Technology Program.

ITP is pleased to announce the release of seven new screening aids for important Coleoptera and Lepidoptera pests. These were designed specifically to be used when examining traps or through visual inspection as part of surveys conducted by state cooperators for the APHIS PPQ Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program. CAPS surveys help officials monitor and gather data about pests on high-risk hosts and commodities, including pests that may have been recently introduced to the United States. The new screening aids are for city longhorn beetle, Agrilus of concern, pinecone and bamboo longhorn beetles, tomato fruit borers, coconut rhinoceros beetles, spruce longhorn beetles, and velvet longhorn beetle. All of ITP's CAPS screening aids can be found on the ITP website and on the CAPS Resource and Collaboration site Screening Aids page.

African swine fever research
African swine fever was first identified in Kenya in 1921 and spread among domestic and wild pigs. This disease is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs; one of the most economically devastating diseases of swine. African swine fever has never been found in the U.S. Illegal entry of swine products and byproducts presents the largest potential pathway for the entry of African swine fever virus.