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Prevent the Invasion: Part 4 – Control the Invaders!

Control the Invaders before they dominate us all!

By Robert Herrmann-Keeling.

We pause in this series to look at some ways we can help to control aquatic and terrestrial invaders. These suggestions come to us courtesy of a flyer from the Long Island Sound Study, 146 Suffolk Hall, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5002.

  1. Don’t set it free! Don’t release any animal, plant, or seed into the wild. This includes reptiles, insects, aquarium plants or fish, and mammals. Many of our aquatic pets and plants are not native to our area and should not be released into the environment. See this website for more information.
  2. Don’t move firewood! When you transport firewood, you could be spreading invasive forest pests. New restrictions to protect our forests from insects and disease prohibit moving firewood, visit this website for more details.
  3. Be smart about your boat and bait! Do not move bait or other fish from one water body to another, and don’t release unused baitfish and worms. Instead, dispose of them in the garbage in a closed container.
  4. Plant native plants! Always use native or non-invasive plants for gardens, landscapes, and ponds. Ask your local nursery for plants that are native to your area and, if they don’t carry native plants, encourage them to.
  5. Do not disturb! Disturbance of habitat often allows invasive plants to take hold so minimize impacts of development on your property by building your driveways and decks only as large as you really need them to be and by using pervious building materials, which allow water to filter through.
  6. Limit those nutrients! Excess nutrients can allow invasive plants to thrive. Maintain your septic systems and cesspools by checking with your local Health Department or maintenance company to make sure you are on schedule for pump-outs. Remember to use slow release fertilizer and other “Sound” gardening methods.
  7. Help map it! Help managers find and stop invasive species at or the United States Coast Guard’s Website. Both sites allow you to report invasive species in order to help track the spread in our area.
  8. Help stop the spread! Volunteer your time to habitat restoration projects by linking up with local environmental groups. Opportunities here.

This is the fourth in a series of articles on invasive plants and animals in Connecticut. Thanks to the people who are experts in this field. This list comes to us from the good folk at Stony Brook University, where I happen to have had a son attend. Just thought I’d mention it.