June is Invasive Species Awareness Month

The month of June is Invasive Species Awareness Month.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says woodlands, wildlands, and waterways draw hundreds of thousands of tourists and recreational users each year. Officials say much of the spread of invasive species comes innocently enough from people simply enjoying nature. They say uninvited guests can hitch a ride on outdoor gear, including shoes and clothing, and can travel hundreds of miles in a single day.

The DNR is offering these tips to stop the spread of invasive species…

  1. Verify that the plants you buy for your yard or garden are not invasive. Many non-native plants can become invasive. The Forest Invasive Species Guide includes quick ID photos and common management techniques to control 19 invasive trees, shrubs and plants.
  2. Look for spongy moth egg masses on all outdoor equipment when traveling from a spongy moth quarantined area.
  3. Clean your boots before and after you hike in a new area to avoid spreading seeds. This is a common way garlic mustard and other plants are spread.
  4. Do not buy or sell firewood from outside your county. Firewood can contain emerald ash borer, Sirex woodwasp, Asian longhorned beetle, oak wilt and many more pests. Plenty of firewood is available locally near state and county parks. Make sure to burn all of the firewood at the campsite and not leave it or transport to a new area.
  5. Work with your Private Lands Forester for plans to make forests more resilient to invasive species.

(courtesy fellow Community First Broadcasting station KUOO in Spirit Lake)