Invasive plants and insects pose serious risks to the biodiversity and functionality of our ecosystems as well as for producing lands including forests and agriculture. Many landowners have invasive plants on their land or nearby and want to understand how to control them or prevent infestation.
What are invasive plants?
In Maine a plant is considered invasive if it:
Invasive species are the second-greatest threat to global biodiversity after loss of habitat. Invading plants out compete native species by hogging sunlight, water, nutrients, and space. They change animal habitat by eliminating native foods, altering cover, and destroying nesting opportunities. Some invaders are so aggressive they leave no room for our natives.
Many invasive plants are still attractive to the home gardener, and many nurseries and garden centers still sell them, even though its illegal. There are many native alternatives to popular invasives, so if you have to remove an invasive that you liked--know that there are other, native plants that will do the job better for the ecosystem of your yard!
Invasive Insect Pests
Besides invasive plants, Maine also has invasive animals including insects. See the Maine Forest Service website and our Invasives resource page for more information on these pests. You should monitor your property for the presence of these pests and alert us if you think you’ve found these insects on your land or elsewhere in Androscoggin or Sagadahoc Counties.
First take an inventory of what you have on your property, invasive species can take a long time to mechanically remove, so start small and be diligent! Species that are well established may take several years to remove from your property. Also look into re-planting natives as soon as possible, which will lower the likelihood of the invasives coming back.