Invasive species are plants, insects, and animals that have been introduced to our ecosystem from other areas or countries and that present potential harm to the local environment, economy, or human health. Often, these species are very aggressive and take over landscapes, making it difficult for native species to survive. Currently in Minnesota, there are a number of invasive species that are threatening the native plant and animal communities including, the emerald ash borer, silver carp, buckthorn, zebra mussels, purple loosestrife, and thistles. It’s important to know what invasive species are present here in Minnesota and remove any that may be in your yard, get on your shoes and clothing after a hike, or even hitch a ride on your boat after a fun day on the lake. 

Common Species You May Find In Your Yard Or In The Woods:

  • Thistle
  • Creeping Charlie 
  • Vetch 
  • Garlic Mustard 
  • Purple Loosestrife 
  • Curly Dock 
  • Buckthorn
  • Leafy Spurge 
  • Bird’s Food Trefoil 

If you see any of these in your yard, make sure to remove the entire plant, including the root. Doing so will help eliminate the species and prevent it from further spreading. For more information on these plants and how to identify them, check out the Terrestrial Invasive Species on the MN DNR’s website.

Aquatic Plant Species Commonly Found in Lakes and Rivers:

  • Eurasian Water Milfoil 
  • Reed Canary Grass 
  • Purple Loosestrife  
  • Curly-Leafed Pondweed  

Aquatic Animal Species Commonly Found in Lakes and Rivers:

  • Zebra Mussels
  • Asian Carp
  • White Perch 
  • Rusty Crayfish 

For aquatic invasive species, make sure to check your boat and any water equipment for any plants or animals, especially zebra mussels. If you find any of these invasive species, please remove them before leaving the boat launch. For more information on these species and how to identify them, visit Aquatic Invasive Species Page on the MN DNR’s website.

  • Birds Food Trefoil

    Birds Food Trefoil

  • Asian Carp

    Asian Carp

  • Buckthorn

    Buckthorn

  • Cowvetch

    Cowvetch

  • Crownvetch

    Crownvetch

  • Cray & Perch

    Rusty Crayfish and White Perch

  • Creeping Charlie

    Creeping Charlie

  • Curly and Zebra

    Zebra Mussels and Curly-Leafed Pondweed

  • Eurasian Milfoil

    Eurasian Milfoil

  • Garlic Mustard

    Garlic Mustard

  • Leafy Spurge

    Leafy Spurge

  • Purple Loosestrife

    Purple Loosestrife

  • Reed Canary Grass

    Reed Canary Grass

  • Spiny Waterflea

    Spiny Waterflea

  • Thistle

    Thistle

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2014. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Web Site (online). Accessed 2014-6-10 athttp://www.dnr.state.mn.us/sitetools/disclaimers_and_policies.html#copyright
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 500 Lafayette Road St. Paul, MN 55155-4046