Invasive species have many pathways of spread. For instance, weed seeds can be easily transferred to the soil from mud on boots or vehicles, and some weeds seeds have special hooks to help them hitch a ride on clothing or pets.
Being aware of these pathways of spread can help reduce the risk of accidentally moving harmful invasive species around. By learning how to inspect and clean your belongings and knowing the source of the things purchased, we can begin to reduce the chance of inadvertently spreading something that could harm those things we cherish.
Whether walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV, it’s important to make sure you don’t accidently move invasive species from place to place. Everyone needs to be part of the fight against invasive species and you can help prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals by following these few simple steps.
- Come clean
Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
- Use local firewood and weed-free or certified hay
- Burn firewood where you buy it and don’t move wood to your campsite, as you may be inadvertently moving invasive species in the wood. Burn all of the wood you bring or leave it with the campsite host.
- When horseback riding, use weed-free or certified hay. When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
- Stay on designated trails
- Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or all terrain vehicle.
- Leave clean
- Before leaving, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you, your pets, or equipment. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.
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