Learn to recognize invasive species

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- People interested in learning about invasive species can learn more about them through a series of events and webinars being offered as part of National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

The Virginia Department of Forestry is hosting such events to help people identify solutions to invasive species at the local, state, tribal, regional, international and national levels.

Such species can be plants, insects, pathogens, or other animals that are intentionally or accidentally introduced into a region where they are not endemic.

This introduction can cause or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or even harm to human health.

The VDOF says a fair number of invasive species can be found in Virginia, and many of them have a negative effect on the health of forests in the Commonwealth.

Invasive pests often do not have natural controls to regulate their populations, so eradication or containment can be difficult and expensive.

Some examples include the brown marmorated stink bug, the Emerald Ash Borer, the spotted lanternfly, the gypsy moth and White Nose Syndrome.

The VDOF's Forest health Program detects, monitors and evaluates invasive species on state and private land.

Officials say knowns which species are present in an area and understanding the impact they may have will help landowners make decisions regarding treatment and management.

VDOF says there are several way people can help, including cleaning off hiking boots and other gear to prevent invasive species from spreading to new locations, avoid dumping live bait in waterways, buying and burning local firewood, and planting non-invasive plants in gardens.

For more information on events and invasive species, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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