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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 to prevent and control invasive species. You can help by learning what invasive species are in your state and what is being done about them.

View related information:

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


  • Volunteer for organized efforts to remove invasive species from natural areas. Help educate others about the threat of invasive species.

    • Participate in National Invasive Species Awareness Week activities to raise awareness and identify solutions to local issues.
    • See to find volunteer positions and events for citizens interested in volunteer service benefitting our Nation’s resources.
  • Check out our U.S. Resources to learn more about invasive species by location.
  • See our Species Profiles to learn more about invasive species.
  • Locate the Extension specialist near you to help identify possible invasive species or for local control information.
  • Expertise Contacts -- Find additional invasive species contacts.
7 ways to leave hungry pests behind

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

Travelers, Hikers, Campers, Boaters, and Hunters

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • Your Move Spongy Moth Free -- Protect your new neighborhood and surrounding natural areas before you move, inspect your outdoor household items for spongy moth egg masses and remove them. This is a federal requirement for homeowners moving from spongy moth quarantine areas.
  • Purchase certified "weed-free" products (forage, gravel and mulch), firewood, hay, and soil.
  • Remove invasive plants from your land and use native plants or non-invasive plants in your garden. Learn more -- I am a gardener: why should I care about invasive species and what can gardeners do to help prevent the spread of invasive species?
  • 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.
  • Before applying pesticides, make sure you understand:
  • Take action for pollinators which are essential for our food supply:
  • Source your plants and seeds responsibly.