Manage an Infestation

Once an invasive species becomes established, rapid response is critical to successful management. As invasive species infestations increase in size and become more widespread, they become progressively more difficult and expensive to manage. Some species have no effective control options.

Each geographic and ecological setting is unique and may require the use of different methods to ensure that control measures are appropriate, effective, and permitted. Individuals or groups seeking to manage invasive species should consult APIPP’s Best Management Practices for Control of Invasive Species and review our additional aquatic or terrestrial invasive species management resources. APIPP staff also have extensive experience in invasive species management and would be happy to offer assistance or advice – Contact Us.

The five general steps outlined below can help ensure the success of your invasive species management efforts.

Step 1: Set Yourself Up for Success

Confirm the identity of the species of concern to ensure that it is invasive and determine its potential impacts, regional distribution, and available control options. Evaluate permit requirements, assess project feasibility, and set realistic goals for your project. APIPP strongly recommends that any invasive plant management project be run through The Nature Conservancy’s Invasive Plant Management Decision Analysis Tool (IPMDAT) before implementation.

Step 2: Implement the Best Management Practice

Photo by Aquatic Invasive Management, LLC

Consider all available Best Management Practices and implement the management strategy most appropriate for your site and invasive species of concern. Annual follow-up management is often required to reduce infestations over time.

Step 3: Monitor Your Results

Long term monitoringManagement sites should be revisited annually for at least five years after the initial management effort or until no invasive plants have been documented at the site for at least three consecutive years. Large infestations – greater than 1 acre – may require sustained annual management and/or active restoration to promote the reestablishment of native species.

Step 4: Adapt As Necessary

Was your control strategy effective? If not, you may need to adapt your management technique or goals based on the results. For example, you may need to deploy a stronger management tool such as an herbicide after manual management efforts have failed. Additionally, you may need to switch from an eradication strategy, to a containment or suppression strategy when invasive plants continue to persist after multiple years of management.

Step 5: Share What You Have Learned!

learnHave you been involved in an invasive species management project? APIPP is continuously seeking to improve its Best Management Practices, and we would value your input. Contact us to share what you have learned.

Please review our additional resources to learn more about managing aquatic or terrestrial invasive species.