Invasive species spread in many ways, often helped unintentionally by people. You can slow the spread of invasive species, and prevent new invasions, by being an aware, responsible and vocal steward of your own property.
- Avoid introducing invasive species. Check with plant sellers before you buy, to make sure that the plant you want, whether native or exotic, is not invasive. Ask about non-invasive alternatives for your garden. Keep wildlife wild - don't approach wildlife with food, or release exotic pets and aquarium fish into the wild.
- Avoid transporting invasive species. Seeds of invasive plants and immature stages of insects are easily moved from place to place on hiking boots, car tires, pants cuffs, and camping or recreational gear. Invasive zebra mussels colonize boat hulls. Check that your gear or boat is clean, especially when entering wildlands or other natural areas, or new bodies of water. DonŐt bring species into Maryland from distant parts of the US, or other regions of the world.
- Minimize disturbance. Many invasive species, especially plants, are adapted to disturbance and rapidly take over newly disturbed areas. Keep open areas on your property to a minimum and monitor disturbed areas for species that spread quickly.