Invasive Plant Species
Invasive species are non-native plants that cause damage to native ecosystems due to loss of diversity. This can be detrimental to local economies, recreation, and environmental health.
According to the WI DNR, approximately 42% of the species on the federal endangered species list or threatened endangered list are at risk primarily because of invasive species. The DNR provides A Field Guide to Invasive Plants in Wisconsin.
How You Can Stop the Spread
Report any invasive species that you find to the WDNR.
Keep it Clean
If you transport a boat to a new body of water, be sure to properly inspect and check for stowaways such as Eurasian Watermilfoil and Zebra Mussels. These aquatic invasives tend to “hitch a ride” to new lakes. Make sure to drain all water from aquatic vehicles and remove all plants immediately after leaving a body of water.
If you are walking through land areas that already have invasive species, be sure to clean your clothes and equipment prior to leaving. This prevents seeds from attaching to you or your equipment and being transported to new areas.
Eradication of Invasives
There are many methods to properly remove invasive species if they infest your property. Some of these methods include mechanical, chemical, or biological removal. Mechanical removal most often includes hand-pulling plants or using a machine to do so. Chemical removal includes using an herbicide to kill the invasive species. Biological removal often includes introducing an animal to eat the undesired plants. Please do research prior to removing an invasive species from your property to ensure your own safety and that the species are properly removed so they will not return. It is important to know what type of plant you are dealing with- wild parsnip, as an example, can cause skin burning and irritation. Following proper eradication procedures for invasive plants is crucial to prevent the unintentional spread and to ensure that they do not grow back. The WDNR provides many resources on the removal of invasive species.
Invasive plants should be removed and sealed in plastic bags to be sent to the landfill. Small bags can be placed in your green refuse cart and large bags can be disposed of at the Fitchburg Recycling Drop off site (2373 S. Fish Hatchery Rd) in the dumpster marked 'yardwaste bags, invasive plants and empty oil containers'.
Visit the DNR invasive species webpage for more information on identification and control at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Invasives/species.asp?filterBy=Terrestrial&filterVal=Y&catVal=PlantsReg#RegSelect
View or print a handout of the regulated terrestrial invasive species
View the DNR's website about NR40
**Warning: When Wild Parsnip comes into contact with bare skin it can cause painful burns and blisters. Cover all exposed skin during removal.