Help Stop Invasive Species during National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Maine Forest Service

For Immediate Release
February 23, 2024

Media contact: Jim Britt

Help Stop Invasive Species during National Invasive Species Awareness Week — February 26 – March 3, 2024

Augusta, Maine – National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is being observed from February 26 to March 3, 2024. This annual event aims to educate the public about the threats posed by invasive species and encourages collective action to mitigate their spread.

Here are ten ways individuals can contribute to slowing or preventing the spread of invasive species in Maine:

  • Identify Emerald Ash Borer Signs: Learn to recognize emerald ash borer infestation signs, particularly during winter when “blonding” on ash trees is noticeable. Report findings using the EAB Report Form.
  • Identify and Remove Invasive Plants: Familiarize yourself with invasive plants like Japanese stiltgrass and vine and volunteer with local land trusts or conservation commissions to remove them from public lands using resources like the Maine Invasive Plant Field Guide.
  • Report Tree of heaven Sightings: Be vigilant for the Tree of heaven, which hosts the invasive spotted lanternfly. Report sightings to mnap@maine.gov.
  • Combat Browntail Moth: Check hardwood trees and shrubs for browntail moth winter webs and eliminate them before caterpillars become active.
  • Prevent the Spread of Invasive Earthworms: Take measures to prevent the spread of invasive earthworms, which disrupt forest soils, by avoiding the movement of plants, soil, mulch, or leaves.
  • Use Local Firewood: When camping, avoid transporting firewood to prevent the spread of invasive pests. Purchase firewood locally.
  • Practice Play Clean Go: Clean hiking gear, boats, and other equipment to prevent invasive species from spreading to new locations.
  • Follow Clean, Drain, Dry: Protect waterways by cleaning, draining, and drying boats and equipment after use. Consider joining organizations like Lake Stewards of Maine for additional involvement.
  • Avoid Releasing Exotic Pets: Refrain from releasing aquarium fish, plants, live bait, or exotic animals into the wild. Research and commit to proper care if owning exotic pets.
  • Raise Awareness: Spread awareness about invasive species and encourage others to participate in NISAW and related initiatives.

Resources for further engagement include:

By taking collective action and raising awareness, individuals can contribute to protecting Maine’s natural resources from the threats posed by invasive species.