INVASIVE SPECIES MANAGEMENT
Invasive species are aggressive, non-native organisms that outcompete and threaten native ones. Invasive species can be anything from mammals to insects to plants and more.
Invasive species also threaten biodiversity. These organisms tend to take over an area and create a monoculture, where less or even only one species exists. Maintaining biodiversity is vital to a healthy environment, as it increases the ecosystem's resiliency, or the ability to swing back, from events like drought, disease, fire, or climate change.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Learn your invasive species! Many of them are fairly easy to recognize and even easier to kill or remove. See below for examples of invasive species and the best recommended way to remove them from your backyard.
However, if you are not sure about the identification of a plant or insect, don't kill it!
We also have groups of volunteers that come out to the preserves on a weekly basis to tackle some of these species. If you are interested in joining an invasive volunteer group, please email Barbara MacDonald.
There are several invasive insects in Pennsylvania including the stinkbug and the Japanese beetle. However, the worst threat currently is the Spotted Lanternfly. This insect has various characteristics depending on the stage in its life cycle. The most effective way to control this species is to squash it when you see it. As well, make sure you check yourself and your vehicles before traveling distances to mitigate the spread of this species. In the fall, you can also check the trees in your yard for lanternfly eggs and scrape them off.
Photo courtesy of Richard Gardner, Bugwood.org
If you have any questions about managing invasive species in your own backyard, check out our Conservation Land Improvement Program for landowners or email Carl Hutchinson.