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Take Action Against Invasive Species

The best way to fight invasive species is to prevent them from occurring! This section provides information about how to take action against invasive species, with general volunteer opportunities and other ways that the average citizen can help prevent and control invasive species.

  • Volunteer for organized efforts to remove invasive species from natural areas. Help educate others about the threat of invasive species.
  • Locate the Extension specialist near you to help identify possible invasive species or for local control information.
  • Check out our U.S. Resources to learn more about invasive species by location and what is being done to prevent, control, or eradicate them.
  • See our Species Profiles to learn more about invasive species.
  • Find resources to help you identify unknown species.
  • Learn more about the pathways in which invasive species are introduced into new areas.
  • Learn more about invasive species prevention efforts.
  • Find contact information for invasive species experts.

For additional related information from NISIC, see Invasive Species Resources by Subject or Type or our Site Map.

Learn more about What You Can Do and How They Spread to stop invasive pests from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Hungry Pests outreach campaign.

Seven Ways to Leave Hungry Pests Behind:

  1. Buy firewood where you burn it.
  2. Buy your plants from a reputable source.
  3. Don't bring or mail fresh plants or produce into or out of your state unless cleaned by inspectors.
  4. Observe agricultural restrictions and work with authorities.
  5. Wash outdoor gear and vehicles between outdoor trips.  Clean lawn furniture before moving.
  6. Report signs of invasive pests at
  7. Declare all agricultural items during international travel.
Monitoring and Reporting

Gardening - Source Your Materials Responsibly



  • Before you purchase a pet, know what you're getting yourself into and never release pets to the wild -- make the right choice before you buy! If you have a domestic pet or exotic pet you no longer want, please contact your local animal shelter, which has connections to help place the animal with an appropriate home.
    • Habitattitude -- Avoid dumping aquariums (including fish or plants) or live bait into waterways. Promotes and increases consumer awareness and responsible behaviors associated with aquarium and water garden hobbies.
    • Don't Let it Loose -- Abandoned pets released into the wild can become a serious invasive species threat. Releasing a pet is not only cruel to the animal, which will most likely die, it could also lead to great ecological damage should that introduced species find a niche to successfully colonize. Find Western state resources if you are no longer willing or able to care for your pet.



Recreationalists - Hikers, Campers, Boaters, and Hunters
  • PlayCleanGo -- Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles, and other pathways of spread to stop hitchhiking invasive species. To protect the landscape and game animals, hunters are asked to clean all mud, seeds and propagating plant parts from boots, vehicles, and equipment before entering the backcountry so that invasive plants from their homes are not accidentally introduced to the backcountry. Everything should again be cleaned before leaving the backcountry.
  • Don't Move Firewood -- Purchase your firewood locally to avoid the spread of invasive infestations. To best protect trees, make sure all your firewood is sourced less than 50 miles from where it will be burned or is certified.
  • Why Cleaning Your Gear Matters -- many activities can inadvertently spread invasive plants or animals, while hiking, angling, boating or four-wheeling. See how to take steps to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Clean, Drain & Dry -- Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species while boating.
  • Don't Pack a Pest -- Find out what agricultural items are allowed entry into the U.S. and certain Caribbean countries. Fruits, vegetables, plants, and animals can carry pests. Declare all agricultural items (including food) to customs officials when returning from international travel.
    • Traveler Information -- Provides important information about which agricultural items are safe to enter the U.S.)
    • Predeparture Inspection Program -- Facilitates the movement of travelers, baggage, mail and cargo to prevent the introduction of these harmful and invasive pests
    • Or, call USDA to find out what's allowed:
      • Questions about plants:   (301) 851-2046
      • Questions about animals: (301) 851-3300
  • What Food Items Can I Bring Into the United States for Personal Use?