University of Maryland Extension

The Aliens Are Coming…. Or, Are They Already Here?

Purple Loosestrife
Purple Loosestrife
Image Credit: 
John Snitzer

Maryland has many alien and invasive species and more are coming each year. Alien and invasive species are plants, insects and diseases which have been introduced into the State from other parts of the U.S. or from other countries. Some were intentionally introduced by horticulturalists years ago, but got out of control. They include English ivy, kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose. Some were not intentionally introduced but arrived by plane, train, automobile, boat and wildlife. Examples are the snakehead fish, Japanese beetle and gypsy moth. At times, they not only cause problems in our gardens but also can impact our jobs as well as our health. Lyme disease spread here from New England via deer and other wildlife while West Nile Virus came to us from Europe in birds. In cooperation with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, USDA and EPA, the Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) provides important information about invasive species of weeds, diseases and insects. You can go to the HGIC home page and then to the "Invasive Species" tab, or directly to the General Information Page The following links also provide timely tips: "Invader of the Month" -  Provides information on the current invasive species "Native Substitutes" - Provides appropriate plants to use as substitutes for the invasive species

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