June is invasive species awareness month and this week you’ll have a chance to brush up on your facts.
The Department of Natural Resources is inviting the public to chat online with experts Tuesday and Thursday at noon. DNR Forestry Invasive Plant Coordinator Tom Boos says members of the public can ask whatever questions are on their mind.
“Typically questions are, revolve around control – how do you control them. But our main message is going to be: get out there, learn what they look like, how to identify them, and what you can do to limit the spread of them. Because humans are the greatest vector for spreading invasive species.”
Tuesday’s topic is terrestrial invasives. That means plants that spread on land, and earthworms. Thursday’s chat will address aquatic invasives. Tom Boos has a few tips to prevent the spread of each kind.
“Clean your boots and equipment after leaving an infested site. So if you go on a hike, and you recognize garlic mustard is in that area, when you leave that area clean your boots, so you’re not dragging those seeds to the next site that you go to, or to your house. The aquatic species…there’s all kinds of things. Clean off your boat trailer, drain your tanks, leave the water where it came from.”
Boos says similar online chats on different awareness topics have been very successful, drawing as many as 1500 participants. You can log on to the noontime chats through the DNR website or on their Facebook page.