Northern giant hornet is an invasive species from Asia and a known predator of honeybees. Though not typically aggressive to humans, they will attack anything that threatens their colonies, which usually nest in the ground. They can sting multiple times and have powerful venom that can inflict serious injury, or in some cases, death. In late summer through fall, hornets may attack honeybee colonies en masse, resulting in the complete destruction of a healthy colony in a matter of hours. The attack leaves piles of decapitated victims in front of the hive.
The spongy moth is one of the worst American forest pest insects. It devours the leaves of more than 500 different species of trees and shrubs and causes enormous enormous damage to the environment and the economy. Most spongy moths are brought to new areas by people, and Washington sees new introductions every year. Eradication efforts of the Washington State Department of Agriculture have presented spongy moths from becoming established here. The department conducts annual surveys to locate new introductions.
Zebra and quagga mussels are freshwater mollusks that colonize lakes and rivers. Their preferred habitats include the calm waters upstream of dams. They are most abundant on hard, particularly rocky surfaces. They're not in Washington, but they're only a day's drive away. They attach themselves to boats, so if someone uses a boat in an infected lake and then launches the boat in Washington waters, they could be introduced here. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has an early detection program, but everyone’s help is needed to spot them before they become a problem.
Northern pike are non-native predators of popular sportfish in Washington State. They are a prohibited species in Washington. They reproduce prolifically and primarily prey on fish smaller than themselves, including juveniles of other species. They have been introduced illegally and established populations in eastern Washington, in the Pend Oreille River, the Spokane River, Lake Roosevelt, and a couple of lakes in Spokane County. Recently, northern pike have also been found in Lake Washington after being illegally introduced.
OLYMPIA–Gov. Jay Inslee, in partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council, has proclaimed February 26 through March 3 as Washington Invasive Species Awareness Week in solidarity with National Invasive Species Awareness Week. “Invasive species and noxious weeds are already a big problem in Washington and species that have yet to reach our state could pose even greater […]February 8, 2024Read More
Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to protecting valuable habitat, Franklin’s words take on a whole new meaning. The Washington Invasive Species Council has received funding to help protect shrub-steppe habitat from noxious weed spread and development. With support from the U.S. Forest […]January 11, 2024Read More
SPOKANE–The Washington Invasive Species Council (WISC) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) invite school-age students to participate in an art contest to help spread the word about not spreading invasive species. Invasive species are plants, animals, and other organisms that don’t naturally live in Washington and, when brought here, can cause economic and environmental harm. Invasive species […]November 14, 2023Read More