If you are a farmer or a rancher, you may have seen and had to manage invasive weed species such as common crupina, Dalmatian toadflax, hawkweeds, Himalayan blackberry, knapweeds, kochia, leafy spurge, purple loosestrife, Scotch broom, Scotch thistle, tansy ragwort, or yellow starthistle. Other species that may be problematic now or in the future include feral swine, Mediterranean white snail, and nutria.
What Can I Do?
Clean vehicles, equipment, personal gear, and animals. To prevent invasive species from hitching a ride on vehicles and equipment, animals and their feed, or yourself as you move through fields or pastures, you can take the following actions:
- Limit travel (of you and your animals) through infestations, particularly when seeds are viable.
- Brush off or wash dogs that have been out running around potentially infested areas.
- Pen livestock for 48 hours after using an infested pasture before moving them.
- Clean seeds and caked-on soil off your boots and clothing, particularly after walking through infested areas.
- Regularly inspect and remove caked-on soil and seeds from vehicle tires and undercarriages of vehicles or equipment that moved between potentially infested and uninfested areas.
- Spread the word: Tell your family, coworkers, and friends to take simple actions to prevent spreading invasive species. Visit our Play, Clean, Go page to learn more.
For more information on cleaning, see the following Web sites:
- Inspection and Cleaning Manual for Equipment and Vehicles to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species
- Vehicle Cleaning Technology for Controlling the Spread of Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species
Use certified, weed-free seed and feed. To prevent spreading invasive species in feed and seed, you can take the following steps:
- Do not use weed-contaminated hay or seeds on uninfested locations.
- Use certified, weed-free feed. In particular, feed weed-free forage for several days before transporting stock to new locations.
For more information:
Report and help eradicate invasive species, and promote native and desired species. Here’s what you can do to get rid of invasive species and to encourage native species:
- Report invasive species online.
- Learn to identify invasive species, using resources such from the Washington Noxious Weed Control Board.
- Eradicate populations on your own property as soon as you see them, and replace them with non-invasive, native species suited to your site and needs.
- Cultivate and protect native plants to reduce opportunities for invasive species to establish. See the Garden Wise guidance, tailored for eastern and western Washington, or contact a master gardener.