Skip to main content

Contact: DNR Office of Communications

Help Prevent The Spread Of Invasive Species

A volunteer holds pulled invasive garlic mustard outside. Help protect native plants and animals by taking simple precautions to avoid spreading invasives in our woods, waters and lands. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asks the public to take simple precautions to avoid spreading invasive plants and animals in June, which is Invasive Species Action Month, and all year long.

Invasive species are nonnative plants, animals and diseases that cause great ecological, environmental or economic harm. Some have already been found in Wisconsin, while others pose a large risk of surviving and causing problems if they are introduced and established here.

The state’s invasive species rule makes it illegal to possess, transport, transfer or introduce certain invasive species in Wisconsin without a permit. The regulations designate which species are Restricted or Prohibited based on factors including the degree of harm they may cause to people, the native ecology or the economy.

How You Can Help

To prevent the establishment and spread of invasives, the DNR encourages reporting invasive species and offers the following tips.

While hiking and camping:

  • Clean mud and dirt off shoes.
  • Remove seeds and burs from clothing.
  • Stay on designated trails, roads and other developed areas. Avoid areas infested with invasive species; “When in doubt, stay out!”
  • Follow Wisconsin’s firewood rules to avoid moving harmful invasive pests and pathogens like the emerald ash borerspongy moth and oak wilt disease.

While fishing and boating:

  • Clean all recreational equipment and gear after every use to protect Wisconsin’s waters from fish diseases and aquatic invasives like quagga and zebra mussels, Eurasian water-milfoilNew Zealand mudsnails and Asian clams.
  • Inspect gear for dirt, mud, seeds and other debris, removing as much as possible before and after launching.
  • Drain all water from gear and compartments before leaving your fishing location.
  • Dry gear for five or more days between uses to help destroy invasive organisms.
  • Never move live fish away from any waterbody.

While gardening and doing leisure activities:

While volunteering and teaching:

Visit the DNR’s website to learn more ways to prevent invasive species from establishing.