Invasive Species in Maryland and Virginia
General Pest Control
The week of February 27 through March 3rd is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. There are a variety of invasive species that includes plants, insects, fish, and more. But what are invasive species and why is awareness important?
What are Invasive Species?
Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are not native to an ecosystem and may cause environmental or economic harm. The National Invasive Species Council hopes to control these species and restore ecosystems. The National Invasive Species Information Center is a tool that can be used to help find more information on stopping the spread invasive species like Red Swamp Crawfish, Blue Catfish, and, by providing visitors with videos and publications about the management of these invaders.
Invasive and Exotic Insects in Maryland and Virginia:
One of the most common invasive species includes the brown marmorated stink bug. This insect species invades homes and businesses across the state and is believed to cause costly damage to many fruit and vegetable crops and other plants across the country. They are known for their triangular-shaped backs as well as for the odor that they are capable of emitting as a defensive strategy. It is difficult to get rid of this species, however, American Pest has a reduction service that will help to minimize stink bug activity around your home.
The Gypsy Moth is a small, grayish-brown insect from the moth family and is commonly found in Western Maryland. This insect causes concern because of the diverse number of host trees they attack. Their larvae feed on leaves of many trees and as they grow they continue to eat more. Mature larvae have the ability to eat an entire leaf at once, causing substantial damage to suburban landscapes. If you have signs of an infestation around your home you can contact American Pest for assistance and tips in reducing gypsy moth activity. Maryland Department of Agriculture provides a step-by-step guide for homeowners to know how to properly identify and control this pest.
Across the country, the Emerald Ash Borer causes tremendous harm to the ash trees that they infest, feed on, and kill over time. Finding the ash borer itself proves difficult, however, it is easy to find signs and symptoms in ash trees. Usually, upper branches begin losing leaves and small branches sprout from the trunk. Woodpeckers prefer to feed on this species so if you have increased woodpecker activity it may also be a sign of an ash borer problem. If you discover signs in your tree it is important you have the health of the tree examined. Maryland Department of Agriculture provides a guide to assist in identifying damage and what to do next.
You can learn more about the other invasive plants, animals, and other species here. If you are ever concerned about a pest infestation we encourage you to contact our pest professionals for assistance as they have been trained to help you protect your home and your family from pests.
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