The species listed on theis website have the potential to create significant damage or harm through direct losses to crops, forests, landscapes, man-made structures and aquatic environments. These species can also cause environmental damage through wide-spread plant mortality. The presence of these pests may also result in quarantines being implemented by the US or other governments that restrict the import and export of a commodity.
Most of the species listed in this website are not native to North America. Native species can be pests but the introduction of exotic species has the potential to cause greater damage due to the lack of effective biological control agents and the lack of resistance in our native plants.
The simplest and most important thing anybody can do to help fight invasive species is to prevent its' introduction and establishment! Invasive organisms can easily be transported on living plants or fresh products such as fruit. Many pests can be found in recently killed plant material including firewood, lumber, and wooden packing material. Avoiding the long range movement of these materials is a simple way to slow the spread of pests. Buying only certified pest-free nursery stock is also a good idea.
It is important to educate yourself and keep up to date on the status of these and other pests. Resources are available through your local extension office and on the web at www.bugwood.org and other websites. These resources have information on how to identify and control exotic pests that have already been introduced. By knowing what to look for and rapidly identifying any new introductions, we may be able to minimize the impact of new invaders. Report any occurrence of invasive species to your local county extension agent, state forestry agency, or to other federal or state natural resource or agricultural agencies. Spread the word; tell your neighbors if you see invasive species on their land. Volunteer with natural resource agencies to control invasive species. Control of small infestations is more effective and economical than trying to control a well-established, rapidly spreading infestation.