Controlling Invasive Species

Invasive Species

  An Ounce of Prevention...

... is always better than a pound of control.  There are many ways to control invasive species but the best method is to prevent them from entering your lake. Control methods are categorized into three groups (see below), each having their own set of tools and methods.

  Control Methods

Chemical Control - Using pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides can be effectively used to kill invasive species, but it can be problematic due to impacts on non-target organisms, including humans. Prolonged use of chemical control is expensive, and may be ineffective when target organisms evolve resistance to certain chemicals.  

Mechanical Control - Physically removing the invasive species or changing habitat conditions is often successful, but can be expensive and labor intensive. Modifying habitat conditions, through alteration of fire or flooding regimes is a mechanical control option when removal is infeasible. 

Biological Control - Natural enemies, as well as a number of other factors, play an important role in regulating plant populations in their native environments. The absence of natural enemies may be an important contributing factor to the invasiveness of some nonnative species.Biological control (or biocontrol) reunites invasive plants with their enemies to restore natural controls and reduce dominance of invasive plants within the plant community. Promoted as a self-sustaining, self-dispersing control method, biocontrol is often used to gradually suppress widespread infestations in low-value or remote areas where other methods are not economically feasible.Despite a reputation as an environmentally benign, cost-effective approach to invasive plant management, the long-term efficacy and environmental impacts of releasing one organism to control another are not fully understood. Classical biocontrol is irreversible and therefore it is essential that all potential consequences are adequately considered beforehand.

The methods above have many advantages and disadvantages, each one having an adverse affect on the other, so it is very important that you perform the proper research and choose the best method for your environment.

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