Help the DNR and the environment by taking simple precautions to avoid spreading invasive species. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin DNR.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asks the public to take some simple precautions year-round to prevent the spread and establishment of invasive, nonnative plants and animals in our woods, waters and land:
• Hikers and campers should remove mud, dirt, seeds and burrs from their shoes and clothing before visiting other places.
• Use only local firewood to avoid moving pests to new places. Firewood is a significant pathway for many invasive insects and pathogens such as the emerald ash borer, spongy moth and oak wilt disease.
• Anglers and boaters can help protect vulnerable areas from aquatic invasives by cleaning equipment and gear after every use. Inspect the gear for dirt, mud, seeds and other debris, and remove as much as possible. Drain all the water from gear before leaving a site, and wash it with 140-degree water or steam to remove invasives that are too small to see. Drying gear for five or more days between uses also helps to destroy invasive organisms.
• Gardeners are encouraged to plant and promote native species that benefit pollinators, birds and other wildlife, or focus on traditional gardening plants that are noninvasive. Gardeners can also remove potential problem plants, including purple loosestrife, hairy willow herb, butterfly dock, yellow iris, nonnative phragmites (common reed), lesser celandine, water hyacinth, water lettuce and frogbit.
• Report invasive species. Early reports help the DNR to respond quickly and control invasives before they spread to new areas.
Visit dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Invasives to learn about more ways to prevent invasive species from establishing themselves in Wisconsin.