How Do People Spread Invasive Species?

Invasive species have many ways of spreading, including human activity. For instance, weed seeds move easily in soil so muddy boots or vehicles can move weed seeds. Some weeds seeds have special hooks to help them hitch a ride. Thus, weeds seeds can spread on our shoes, socks, clothing, and pets.

Some invasive plants are quite attractive, so they show up in nurseries as ornamental plants. They can also hide in nursery stock, potting mixes, or home décor made from raw wood products.

A number of insect and disease pests of trees can move in cut firewood, pallets, or solid wood packing material.

Being aware of these pathways of spread can help us reduce the risk of accidentally moving harmful invasive species. By learning how to inspect and clean our belongings and knowing the source of the things we buy, we can begin to reduce the chance of inadvertently spreading something that could harm those things we cherish.

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