Why Should I Care About Invasive Plants?

  • Invasive plants cost money. A 2012 survey of 120 agencies and landowners in Indiana found we spent $5.7 million to manage these species and protect our natural areas. Nationally, agricultural and control costs due to invasive plants are estimated at $15 billion per year. Each year the cost grows.
  • Invasive plants hurt wildlife by crowding out the plants our native animals need for food and cover.
  • Most invasive shrubs and trees are little used by native insects. This reduces habitat for beneficial pollinators and predatory insects, as well as reducing the amount of food available for birds to feed their nestlings.
  • Invasive plants destroy habitat for rare wildflowers and animals, threatening two-thirds of all endangered species.
  • Invasive plants can become weeds in a home garden, crowding out other landscaping.
  • Invasive plants can also decrease your ability to enjoy hunting, fishing, mushroom collecting, bird-watching,and many other recreational pursuits by crowding forest floors and choking waterways, making use of these areas difficult.

For more information on invasive plant impacts in Indiana and what you can do to help, go to the Invasive Plant Advisory Committee website at http://www.entm.purdue.edu/iisc/plants.php

What’s the difference between Native, Non-Native, Invasive, and Non-Invasive plants?