Manage an Infestation

Once an invasive species becomes established, early detection and rapid response is critical to successful management. In general, complete eradication is most likely for infestations that are under one hectare in size. As invasive species infestations increase in size and become more widespread, they become progressively more difficult and costly to manage. Some species have no effective control options.

Each management 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 in the Adirondacks should consult APIPP’s Invasive Species Best Management Practices. Our staff also have extensive experience in invasive species management. Please Contact us if you need assistance or advice.

Follow the six general steps outlined below to help ensure the success of your invasive species management project

Step 1: Set Yourself Up for Success

Confirm the identity of the species of concern and determine its potential impacts, 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 evaluated through The Nature Conservancy’s Invasive Plant Management Decision Analysis Tool (IPMDAT) before implementation.

Step 2: Implement the Best Management Practice

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

Step 3: Monitor Your Results

Long term monitoring

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 one hectare – may require sustained annual management to maintain the infestation at desired levels.

Step 4: Adapt As Necessary

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

Step 5: Assess Restoration Needs

What is going to replace the invasive species that you removed? For small infestations, native species will usually recolonize the once invaded area naturally. However, for larger infestations active restoration efforts such as reseeding or planting of native species may be necessary in order to ensure that the site fully recovers.

Step 6: Share What You Have Learned!

Have 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.