Exotic garden plants and pets can escape and invade
Plant Native Species
Landscape with plants native to your area. Native plants require less
water, fertilizers, and pesticides and often provide advantages for
wildlife such as food, cover or nesting sites for butterflies or birds.
Avoid Seed Mixes
Stay away from seed mixtures, especially ones labeled “wildflowers.”
Use caution when buying plants or seeds on the internet or by mail
order—you may unknowingly contribute to the spread of invasive
species from one part of the country to another. Plants native to one
region can be invasive in another region.
Do not dispose of aquarium water, pond plants or animals into local
water bodies. Some exotic plants and animals sold for water gardens
and aquaria are highly invasive.
Discard unwanted seeds, plants or garden clippings in the garbage,
not in natural areas or parks.
Respond aggressively and act quickly to rid your land of noxious weeds and other invasive
Teachers are pet owners too!
Educate yourself and children on the exotic animal you are interested in buying.
Are you willing and able to keep the pet for its entire life?
Buyer Beware! Only buy from reputable dealers where non-native pets are
properly labeled, legally imported, and not harboring foreign pests or diseases.
Don’t Let it Loose! Do not release aquarium fish, plants or animals of any kind
into the wild. They may prey on native species or spread disease. If you no longer
want your pet or classroom animal, return it to a local pet shop or give it to a
shelter, hobbyist, school, nursing home or veterinarian, and throw all aquarium
plants into the trash.
Don’t Move It! Never take plants or animals from one habitat to another. By
moving a species even from one stretch of river to another, you may have inadvertently
introduced an invasive species, upset the balance of the ecosystem, and