Considering the amazing potential these species have to spread (see here), and the fact that the globalized world has easily allowed the spread of this ecological menace (see here for some examples), chances are pretty good that there is an invasive species (alien species) in your surroundings.
Take a look at this graph below-
This is called an invasive species curve/invasion curve. It is used widely to understand the behavior of invasive species, and how we can manage them. The graph clearly shows one relationship-
If you leave an invasive species for a long time, the area infested increases, and the cost of management increases.
Therefore, early detection and mitigation of the spread of an alien species in ideal if you want to get rid yourself of unnecessary headache in the future.
How can you spot on invasive species in your neighborhood?
The biggest advantage humans have is that since we have the intelligence to recognize such a species. We are not restricted by our food habits or habitats in dealing with species, like most organisms in a victim ecosystem are. Every invasive species, plant or animal, has some classic signs that tell you they are a problem.
- They multiply really quickly. If you see a plant or an animal increasing in numbers within a week or two, chances are that is an invasive species.
- They begin to dominate your surrounding environment. As they multiply, they take up more space and resources, pushing out other plants and/or animals via competition.
- People tend to get allergies around them. This could be rashes, sneezes or any other kind of irritation. This happens either with direct contact with the species, or when you come in contact with their feces or other secretions. Most invasive species have defensive/offensive mechanisms that is the reason they are so potent in warding off other competing organisms. This affects humans as well.
- They are found in the most unlikely places. Places like cracks on a pavement, a muddy place inside your house. If anything can grow in such places, you should be worried.
If you detect a species of this sort, inform your local authorities immediately, or call any form of pest control expert. Eradication is best done when the species is just about spreading and is not present everywhere.
If you are too late in detecting or informing the necessary authorities, it’s all right. Inform them now that you have noticed. Even if the species has spread in your environment, you can keep it from getting out of hand. The authorities and pest control experts are usually adept at containing these species. The methods they use depend on the species, but largely, it involves manual removal or chemical control. It is going to cost a lot more than before.
Resource protection and long-term management
The battle against invasive species is a short and intense one. These guys spread really fast, and once established, they cannot be removed unless you disturb the entire environment they live on. The only thing to do in this situation is to identify important resources, and eradicate the species from there. Regularly monitor these areas so that if these species show any signs of coming back, they can be dealt with.
What are some of the species you should look out for?
Here are some examples of some well-known invasive species that you can keep a look out for.
Look around you, keep your eyes peeled and stop this menace!