SSEA’s Invasive Species Program involves working with our partners to prevent, detect, monitor and manage invasive species in the Severn Sound area.
We work towards coordinating efforts of municipalities, community associations and the public to effectively manage invasive species.
Aliens among us
Alien species are plants, animals, invertebrates, and micro-organisms accidentally or deliberately introduced outside of their natural past or present distribution. Invasive alien species (invasive species) are those harmful alien species whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy, or society, including human health. Invasive species are a serious problem and have a variety of negative impacts including changing ecosystems. The Invasive Species Centre estimates the potential economic impacts of invasive species on forestry, agriculture, fisheries, healthcare, tourism and recreation to be approximately $3.6 billion per year in Ontario.
Typically, an alien species becomes invasive because of a lack of natural controls (e.g., predators or disease) that would be present in their home range to keep the population in check. Without these natural controls, invasive species have a competitive edge over native species, and become a problem through rapid spread and increase in numbers.
Invasion of a species can occur by accidental or purposeful introduction. Some examples of unintentional introduction of invasive species include: weed seeds mixed in with imported soil or crop seeds, and insects, disease or fungus that hitchhike on imported materials. In other cases, invasive species can be intentionally introduced as agricultural crops, landscape plants, ornamentals, or plants for medicine and research.
The problem of invasive species is complex – there are lots of species, many different pathways for them to become established, and they can’t all be controlled in the same way.
How YOU Can Help
- Learn to identify invasive species and share your knowledge with members of your community. Apps such as iNaturalist can help you identify and record native and invasive species observations.
- Report sightings of invasive species in the SSEA area to firstname.lastname@example.org, to www.eddmaps.org or call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711. These reported sightings help with detection, monitoring and management – rapid response to new invaders is important for effective management.
- Take action to reduce impacts of invasive species on your property and participate in local invasive species control/management activities.
- Remove and dispose of invasive species properly according to the Best Management Practices (BMPs). Specific BMPs are linked in the species descriptions below.
- For the removal of noxious weeds on your property, you may require assistance from an Invasive Plant Management Professional.
- Prevention is crucial – eradication is costly and challenging once invasion occurs.
- The Clean Equipment Protocol describes why it is important to inspect and clean equipment to prevent spread of invasive species.
- Follow the Clean/Drain/Dry protocol before moving boats and equipment from one water body to another.
- Do not dump yard waste or garden plants in the wild. Yard waste can contain non-native invasive microorganisms, plants, seeds, eggs and insects. Non-native invasive species can be unintentionally introduced to a natural area by improper disposal of garden material. Invasive plants tend to be more competitive and overtake natural areas, inhibiting native plant growth. Invasive plants can even grow from small fragments! You can help prevent the spread of invasive species by disposing of yard waste through your local municipality – home composting of non-native species may not effectively kill the plant.
- Stay up-to-date on laws regarding invasive species. In the Province of Ontario, it is illegal to import, deposit, release, breed/grow, buy, sell, lease or trade restricted invasive species.
- Follow Best Management Practices for gardening:
- Do not dump aquariums or release baitfish from one water body into another – it’s illegal
- Don’t move firewood: buy it where you burn it! Moving wood from restricted areas can result in substantial fines and/or prosecution.
- Follow SSEA on Instagram and Twitter to stay updated about invasive species management in the Severn Sound area.
- Learn more about invasive species on the SSEA’s YouTube channel.
- Contact SSEA with invasive species questions or to report local sightings: email@example.com.
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Invasive Species
- Canadian Wildlife Federation Invasive Species Aquatic Plants and Aquatic Animals
- Ontario Invasive Species Act 2015
- An Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada
- Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program
- Quick Reference Guide to Invasive Plant Species
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Bird vetch (Vicia cracca)
• Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Bird Vetch Information
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
• Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Canada Thistle Information
Chinese privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
Climbing/Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris)
Common Reed (Phragmites australis ssp. australis) – see Phragmites
Common St. Johnswort/ Goatweed (Hypericum perforatum)
• Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: St. John’s Wort Information
Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
• Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Common Tansy Information
Common/English hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Common/European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: Common Buckthorn Fact Sheet
- Ontario Invasive Plant Council: Common Buckthorn Fact Sheet
- Ontario Invasive Plant Council: Best Management Practices for Common Buckthorn
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Common Buckthorn Information
- Buckthorn Control Methods from the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
Common/Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
• Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Toadflax Information
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)
• Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Creeping Bellflower Information
Curlyleaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
Didymo / Rock Snot (Didymosphenia geminata)
Dog-strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum and Cynanchum louiseae)
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: Dog-strangling Vine Fact Sheet
- Ontario Invasive Plant Council: Dog-strangling Vine Fact Sheet
- Ontario Invasive Plant Council: Best Management Practices for Dog-strangling Vine
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Dog-strangling Vine Information
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs: Dog-strangling vine information
- Nature Conservancy of Canada: Dog Strangling Vine information
Eurasian Water-Milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
European Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: Garlic Mustard Fact Sheet
- Ontario Invasive Plant Council: Garlic Mustard Fact Sheet
- Ontario Invasive Plant Council: Best Management Practices for Garlic Mustard
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Garlic Mustard Information
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Garlic Mustard Information
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis)
Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Information on Invasive Ground Covers (including Periwinkle, English ivy, Goutweed)
Himalayan Balsam/ Policeman’s Helmet/ Pink Jewelweed (Impatiens glandulifera)
Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum/ Fallopia japonica)
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food: Japanese Knotweed Information
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Japanese Knotweed Information
- Ontario Invasive Plant Council: Best Management Practices for Japanese Knotweed
Japanese Stilt Grass (Microstegium vimineum)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus)
Parrotfeather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
Phragmites/ Common Reed (Phragmites australis ssp. australis)
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: Phragmites Fact Sheet
- Invasive Phragmites Best Management Practices in Ontario
- Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (including information on research and management, and resources)
- The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation: Common Reed Information
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Phragmites Information
- Invasive Common Reed Threatens Lake Huron’s Coastal Environments: Brochure
- SSEA Video on Phragmites
- Wymbolwood Beach Phragmites Removal Technique -selective cutting of Phragmites, preserving existing native plants. When repeated over a period of several years, this control method has been effective in reducing Phragmites in coastal areas of Wymbolwood Beach (Township of Tiny). Some areas were cut once a season (between mid-July and mid-August); other areas were cut three times over the summer (June, July and August) with a visible reduction in Phragmites. Posted with permission from Lynn Short.
Pink Jewelweed (Impatiens glandulifera) – see Himalayan Balsam
Policeman’s Helmet (Impatiens glandulifera) – see Himalayan Balsam
Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea subsp. arundinacea)
Rock Snot (Didymosphenia geminata) – see Didymo
Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)
Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)
Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
White Sweet Clover (Melilotus albus)
Wild Chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris)
Winged Euonymus/Burning Bush (Euonymus alata)
Yellow Floating Heart (Nymphoides peltata)
Asian Carps – Bighead Carp, Black Carp, Grass Carp, Silver Carp
Asian Carps – Bighead Carp, Black Carp, Grass Carp, Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, Mylopharyngodon piceus, Ctenopharyngodon idella, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) – see Asian Carps
Black Carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) – see Asian Carps
Eurasian Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) – see Ruffe
Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) – see Asian Carps
Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus)
Rudd (Scardinus erythropthalmus)
Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) – see Asian Carps
Tube-nosed Goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris)
Asian Long-horned Beetle
Asian Long-horned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
- Invasive Insects: Asian Long-horned Beetle Information
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Asian Long-horned Beetle Information
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): Asian Long-horned Beetle information
Report signs and symptoms of trees infested with Asian Long-horned Beetle to the CFIA (phone 1-800-442-2342 or online at www.inspection.gc.ca) or contact the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at 1-800-667-1940
Asian Clam (Corbicula fluminea)
Banded Mystery Snail (Viviparus georgianus)
SSEA Banded Mystery Snail Fact Sheet 2020
Also see Invasive Snails below.
Beech Leaf-mining Weevil (Orchestes fagi)
Brown Spruce Long-horned Beetle (Tetropium fuscum)
Channeled Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) – see Invasive Snails
Chinese Mystery Snail (Cipangopaludina chinensis/ Bellamya chinensis)
SSEA Chinese Mystery Snail Fact Sheet 2020
Also see Invasive Snails below.
Emerald Ash Borer (Argrilus planipennis)
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): General Information on Emerald Ash Borer, including regulated areas where there are restrictions on moving wood
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet
- Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program: Emerald Ash Borer
- Report signs and symptoms of trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer to the CFIA (phone 1-800-442-2342 or online at www.inspection.gc.ca), or contact the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (1-800-667-1940)
European Spruce Bark Beetle (Ips typographus)
Fishhook Waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi) – see Spiny Waterflea & Fishhook Waterflea
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae)
- SSEA Banded Mystery Snail Fact Sheet 2020
- SSEA Chinese Mystery Snail Fact Sheet 2020
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Invasive Snails Information
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: Mystery Snail Watch Card
- Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program: New Zealand Mud Snail Watch Card
Japanese Mystery Snail (Cipangopaludina japonica) – see Invasive Snails
Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae)
Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica):
Mystery Snail – see Invasive Snails
New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) – see Invasive Snails
Oak Wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum)
Quagga Mussels (Dreissena bugensis) – see Zebra Mussels & Quagga Mussels
Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
Spiny Waterflea & Fishhook Waterflea (Bythotrephes longimanus & Cercopagis pengoi)
Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar)
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF): Information on Bats and White-nose Syndrome
- Ontario’s White-nose Syndrome Response Plan
Report unusual bat activity (e.g., flying outside in the daytime) or deaths to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (1-866-673-4781) or the Natural Resources Information Centre (1-800-667-1940 TTY for the hearing impaired at 1-866-686-6072).
Wild Pigs (Sus scrofa)
Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)