Map of the most common invasive animals and insects in every US state
Many types of harmful invasive species enter and spread throughout the United States on land or in water through various pathways.
Non-native plants, animals, algae, fungi, or pathogenic microorganisms can cause serious damage to the economy, the environment, and human health, once they invade a sufficient area outside their natural habitat, according to the US Forest Service.
Common invasive species in the United States include emerald ash borer, zebra pigs, zebra, mussel, kudzu, cheat grass, woolly hemlock, fungal pathogens of white-nose syndrome, lionfish, buffalo, Asian carp, garlic mustard, leaf hole, Sirix, wood grouse, Burmese python, Japanese python and many more.
In 2018, the top invasive animals reported by national parks spanned a variety of species – including European starlings, wildcats, rock pigeons (Columba livia), and house sparrows (Columba livia).house sparrow) and the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), according to the National Park Service.
Using native pest species data collected by the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, here’s a guide to the most invasive species in each state as of May 2023.
How to prevent the spread of invasive species at home and when traveling
- Avoid growing invasive ornamental plants on your property, and use native alternatives instead.
- Learn how to properly remove and control invasive plants around your property.
- Report an invasive species invasion to your local, county, state or federal government agency.
- Don’t throw aquariums or houseplants into the environment (such as lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, or other natural areas).
- Contact state or county government officials of the national forest or local grassland to learn about invasive species in your area.
- When traveling, be sure to clean your clothes, boat, animals, and gear after re-establishing to prevent the spread of invasive species to other areas.
- Do not collect invasive plants, their seeds or reproductive bodies.
- Do not carry firewood for long distances.
- Dispose of live bait properly in the trash.
- Use only degassed (grass-free) forage/hay when feeding livestock in national forests.
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