Invasive Species

Explore why invasive plants are a concern in the St. Louis region and learn what you can do to help address them. 

Invasive Plants 101

Why Should You Care?

Human Health

In the Saint Louis region, a recent study from researchers at Washington University found that areas infested with bush honeysuckle have an increased abundance of the tick species that spread Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis (a serious tickborne bacterial infection). Another recent study from the University of Illinois found that the displacement of native shrubs by invasive bush honeysuckle and autumn olive led to increased survival and abundance of the common house mosquito, the vector for West Nile Virus.

What Can You Do To Help?

Learn to identify invasive plant species in our region (see Species List below) and how to distinguish them from any native species that are similar in appearance.

Avoid using invasive plants in your garden. Until you are able to get rid of invasive plants in your yard, be responsible and remember to remove and destroy seeds of invasive plants to prevent their dispersal into natural areas. Don’t share invasives with other gardeners.  Ask your local nursery not to sell invasive plants and to provide native alternatives.

Don’t plant invasive plants for wildlife. Native species provide much better food and cover for native wildlife.

Volunteer to help remove invasive species in local parks and natural areas.

Pass it on! Tell your friends and family about the threat from invasive species.

Invasive Species in the St. Louis Region