Parks Department

What Is An Invasive Species?

Invasive species is a name for a species that has become a weed pest, a plant which grows aggressively, spreads and displaces other plants or an insect that is impacting plant habitats, both physically and economically.

Invasive plants are generally undesirable because they are difficult to control, and can escape from cultivation. Invasive plant infestations can be extremely expensive to control, as well as environmentally destructive.

Invasives are a major factor in the decline of native plants. Invasive plants are displacing native palnts and degrading habitat for native insects, birds, and animals. Endangered, rare, and threatened native species of plant and animals are especially at risk because they often occur in such small populations that make them particularly vulnerable.

Invasive insects such as Emerald Ash Borer which destroys ash trees and other desirable species can destroy millions of dollars worth of trees, impacting such diverse industries such as furniture makers, landscapers and baseball bat making.

Read more about invasive species on the Internet Browser Link PA Department of Agriculture Web site.

Invasive Species List


Insects Click the photo for a full size picture.

1. Taxonomic Name: Adelges tsugae
  Common Names: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Life Form: Insect
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: If possible, capture species in a jar and note the location and date.
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
Adelges tsugae infestation (Photo: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, www.forestryimages.org)
 

2. Taxonomic Name: Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire
  Common Names: Emerald Ash Borer
Life Form: Insect
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: If possible, capture species in a jar and note the location and date.
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
Emerald Ash Borer (Photo: Adult (David Cappaert, www.forestryimages.org)
Emerald Ash Borer Larva(e) (Photo: David Cappaert, www.forestryimages.org)

3. Taxonomic Name: Anoplophora glabripennis
  Common Names: Asian Longhorned Beetle, Asiatischer Laubholzkfer(German), Longicorne Asiatique (French), Starry Sky Beetle
Life Form: Insect
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: If possible, capture species in a jar and note the location and date.
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-877-464-9333.
Anoplophora glabripennis male (Photo: Michael Bohne, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org)
Anoplophora glabripennis larvae (Photo: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ, www.forestryimages.org)

4. Taxonomic Name: Halyomorpha halys
  Common Names: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Life Form: Insect
Internet Browser Link Invasive.Org Page
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Photo: David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ, www.forestryimages.org)
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug; Egg(s) (Photo: David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ, www.forestryimages.org)

Plants
* Note: For herbicides, always follow directions as indicated on the label for proper product use. Always use or wear personal protective equipment as recommended on label.

Click the photo for a full size picture.

1. Taxonomic Name: Ailanthus altissima
  Common Names: Tree of Heaven, Chinese Sumac, Stinking Shumac
Life Form: Shrub, Tree
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: Cut and pull small plants and dispose in garbage bags. For large plants girdle the trunk and spray with glyphosate or appropriate herbicide*.
Tree of Heaven: Infestation along roadside (Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, www.forestryimages.org)
Tree of Heaven: Foliage (Photo: Chuck Bargeron, The University of Georgia, www.forestryimages.org)

2. Taxonomic Name: Fallopia japonica
  Common Names: Japanese Knotweed, Crimson Beauty, Donkey Rhubarb, German Sausage, Huzhang (Chinese), Itadori (Japanese), Japanese Bamboo, Japanese Fleece Flower, Japanese Polygonum, Kontiki Bamboo, Mexican-Bamboo,Peashooter Plant, Renoue du Japon (French-France), Reynoutria Fleece Flower, Sally Rhubarb
Life Form: Herb, Shrub
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: If possible, pull or dig plants and place in garbage bags. For large plants, spray with glyphosate herbicide*.
Japanese Knotweed (Photo: Jil M. Swearingen, USDI National Park Service)
Inflorescence Close-up (Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut)

3. Taxonomic Name: Heracleum mantegazzianum
  Common Names: Giant Hogweed, Barszcz Mantegazyjski (Poland), Cartwheel-Flower
Life Form: Herb
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control:Caution: Do not touch. Any physical contact is a health hazard. Giant Hogweed is a both a Federal and Pennsylvania Noxious Weed. Check below for more information.
PDF Giant Hogweed from PA Dept. of Agriculture
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-877-464-9333.
Heracleum mantegazzianum flowers (Photo: Terry English, USDA APHIS PPQ, www.forestryimages.org)
Heracleum mantegazzianum (Photo: Terry English, USDA APHIS PPQ, www.forestryimages.org)

4. Taxonomic Name: Lythrum salicaria
  Common Names: Purple Loosestrife, Blutweiderich (German), Rainbow Weed, Salicaire (French), Spiked Loosestrife
Life Form: Aquatic Plant, Herb
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: For a small number of plants cut and pull and dispose in garbage bags. For a large stand of plants spray with glyphosate or appropriate herbicide*. Do not use the herbicide* over water locations.
Purple Loosestrife is a Pennsylvania Noxious Weed.
Lythrum salicaria flowers (Photo: Paul Champion, NIWA)
Lythrum salicaria at Lake Horowhenua, NZ (Photo: N. Procter, Horizons Regional Council)

5. Taxonomic Name: Microstegium vimineum
  Common Names: Japanese Stilt Grass, Japanese Grass, Annual Jewgrass, Asian Stilt Grass, Bamboograss, Chinese Packing Grass, Flexible Sesagrass, Mary's Grass, Nepal Grass, Nepal Microstegium, Nepalese Browntop, Vietnamese Stilt Grass
Life Form: Grass
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: For a small number of plants cut and pull and dispose in garbage bags. For large stand of spray with glyphosate or appropriate herbicide*.
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
Microstegium vimineum foliage (Photo: Chuck Bargeron, The University of Georgia, www.forestryimages.org)
 

6. Taxonomic Name: Polygonum perfoliatum
  Common Names: Mile-A-Minute-Vine, Mile-A-Minute-Weed, Minuteweed, Asiatic Tearthumb, Devil's-Tail Tearthumb, Ishimikawa (Japanese), Tearthumb
Life Form: Trailing Vine
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: Mile-A-Minute-Weed is a Pennsylvania Noxious Weed. For more information check PDF Mile-A-Minute-Vine from PA Dept. of Agriculture
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
Polygonum perfoliatum foliage (Photo: Britt Slattery, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, www.forestryimages.org)
Polygonum perfoliatum flowers inside cup-like leaf bracts (Photo: Jil M. Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, www.forestryimages.org)

7. Taxonomic Name: Pueraria montana var. lobata
  Common Names: Kudzu, Kudzu Vine, Kudzu-Kletterwein (German)
Life Form: Vine, Climber
Internet Browser Link Global Invasive Species Database Page
How to Control: For a small number of plants cut and pull and dispose in garbage bags. For a large stand of plants spray with clopyralid or appropriate herbicide*. Kudzu Vine is a Pennsylvania Noxious Weed.
Contact: PA Dept. of Agriculture Hotline at 1-866-253-7189.
Kudzu vine (Photo: Kazuo Yamasaki)
Kudzu leaves without lobes (taken in October) (Photo credit: James H. Miller