Smith County Extension Agent
“An ‘invasive species’ is defined as a species that is non-native or alien to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health,” according to Executive Order 1311 from Texas Invasives website http://www.texasinvasives.org/.
Invasive animal species for Texas include feral hogs, zebra mussels, some fish species and nutria to name a few. Invasive insect species for Texas include the red-imported fire ants, chilli thrips, Emerald Ash borer and the Formosan subterranean termite to name a few. There are numerous other animal and insect species on the invasive list.
So what can I do? For boaters, it is important that they clean, drain and dry their boat, trailer and gear every time they leave a body of water. Pet owners with fish or other exotic species should not release plants, fish or pet species into the wild as they are non-native and can pose an environmental problem. For gardeners, not all non-native plants are bad. Know what plants may work in your garden area but do not pose an environmental problem if spread to other area around you. The Texas Invasive website is helpful with good information for homeowners, gardeners and more and can be found at http://www.texasinvasives.org/.
Texans are asked to always be on the lookout for plants, animals and insects they are not accustomed to seeing in their area. The brown marmorated stink bug is an insect entomologists across the state are monitoring and they are encouraging people to report any found.
Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.