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National Invasive Species Awareness Week

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere.  The cuban tree frog, pythons in the everglades, monk parakeets, green mussles and scorpion fish, hydrilla and water hyacinth, rugose spiraling whitefly, red bay ambrosia beetle, citrus greening, Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, air potato and the list goes on.

These invasive pests are devastating our natural environment and threatening the things we value.

The United States Department of Agriculture is asking for everyone’s help to stop the unintended introduction and spread of invasive pests.  They urge you to visit www.HungryPests.com to learn more about invasive pests.

Here are a few actions people can take today:

1.  Buy firewood where you burn it – transporting wood can spread invasive pests.

2.  Plant carefully – buy plants from reputable sources and avoid using invasive plant species.  Remove invasive species.  See the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council list of invasive plants:  http://www.fleppc.org/list/list.htm

3.  Never release aquarium fish and plants into a waterway.  Return them to an aquarium shop if possible.

4.  Keep it clean – wash outdoor gear and tires between fishing, hunting or camping trips.

5.  Learn to identify – if you see signs of an invasive pest, write down or take a picture of what you see and then report it at www.HungryPests.com

6.  Only pack and send agricultrally inspected fruits, veggies or plants across state lines.

It is up to all of us to prevent and reduce the spread of invasive species.