You can help prevent the spread of invasive species

Once invasive species have a foothold, they can be hard to remove, so prevention and early detection and response is key. Everyone has a role in slowing the spread of invasive species.

Landowners and managers

  • Monitor for invasive species regularly: Actively survey for invasive species whenever in the woods. Monitor along edges, creeks, trails, and in disturbed areas. Mark plant locations with a map app or flags. 
  • Work with neighboring property owners: Discuss concerns about invasives with neighboring property owners and plan to work together to manage them.
  • Avoid sharing landscape plants with other gardeners and source plants from trusted nurseries.
  • Do not plant invasive species.
  • Control invasive species early. 
A newly germinated garlic mustard plant grows beneath a booth brush station in Southern Illinois. Photo: Misty McElyea.

Visitors to natural areas

  • Clean shoes and gear between sites: Shoes, clothing, animals, gear, vehicle tires, and boats. 
  • Report sightings: Stay up to date on invasive species in your area. Report sightings through the EDDMaps app or online.
  • Volunteer to help remove invasive species at a local natural area. 
  • Do not move firewood and do not harvest plants, such as roadside weeds, if you do not know what they are. 
  • Do not release exotic pets.