Invasive Species

Invasive plants and animals are species that live in an area that they are not orignially from and cause harm to the environment, human economy or human health. They are capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats.

The University of Illinois Extension Forestry Introduction to Invasive Species Webinar, presented by Chris Evans, Forestry Extension and Research Specialist, University of Illinois, offers an introductory explanation of invasive species, covering their ecological impacts and providing a review of common invasive species in Illinois. Additionally, Chris presented Controlling Invasive Plants to our chapter in February 2024, offering valuable insights into effectively managing and getting rid of invasive plants. Here are some great resources on the management and control of Invasive Species referenced in Chris’ presentation:
Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes Collaborative
Midwest Invasive Plant Network
Management of Invasive Plants and Pests of Illinois
Illinois Invasive Species Council

The Wild Ones Blog February 27, 2024 article, Ecological Control of Invasive Plant Species, outlines a range of physical techniques, from hand pulling and cutting to smothering and solarization, aimed at minimizing the impact of unwanted plants.

Below are links to lists of invasive species in our area:
Field Museum Field Guide: Selected Plants that Threaten Chicagoland Natural Areas – Authors: Henrietta T. Saunders, Robert G. Sullivan
Illinois Invasive Species of Concern
Common Invasive Plant Species in Northeastern Illinois
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County List of Aquative Invasives
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County List of Terrestial Invasives
NorthWest Suburban Real Estate Homeowners’ Guide to Invasive Plants

Asian jumping worms are a new invasive species. Here are some resources:
Patch Article: Jumping Worms Join Chicago’s Already Strange Insect Scene, 4/19/21
University of Illinois Extension Invasive Species Alert: Jumping Worms
University of Illinois Extension Jumping Worms Update from 2/18/2020
Jumping Worm Facts from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Jumping Worm Fact Sheet from Cornell University Cooperative Extension
Invasive Jumping Worms – Claymation – Learn about why they threaten Northeastern forests, what makes them so invasive, and what you can do to prevent their spread.

Our March of 2019 speaker, Nanette Kalscheur, also provided the following links on invasives:
Stink Bug Alert
Jumping Worm Alert & ID
Viburnum Leaf Beetle Fact Sheet

Here is a great book on invasive plants:
Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: An Illustrated Guide to Their Identification and Control

Below are some more YouTube videos/webinars to learn more about invasive species:
DuPage Forest Behind the Scenes: Controlling Invasive Plant Species
The Conservation Foundation: New Invaders Watch: Who’s Here and Who is Not!
Wild Ones Twin Cities: Ryan Hueffmeier – Jumping Worms, the Latest Threat
Missouri Prairie: Grow Native! Webinar: Invasive Plant Q & A with Dr. Quinn Long and Matt Arndt
Kane County Wild Ones and Gail Borden Public Library: Invasive Plants