No, this is not a Trump-style rant against illegal immigrants. Nor is it about some cheesy sci-fi movie. It’s about a real invasion; of plants, animals and even viruses. Examples abound. The Everglades is overrun with pythons. Asian carp are a serious problem in the Mississippi River basin. The emerald ash borer is devastating our ashes. West Nile virus has killed over a thousand Americans. I could go on and on.
Sometimes the invasions are accidental. The zebra mussel came over in a ship’s ballast. Ornamental plants and exotic pets escape into the wild. Sometimes it is deliberate, though misguided. Kudzu was introduced as an ornamental plant, erosion preventer and cattle food. Now it’s known as the plant that ate the South. An organization known as the American Acclimatazion Society gave us the startling, allegedly because Shakespeare mentioned it.
Enormous resources are devoted to fighting these pests. Much of this effort requires large organizations. However, there is still much we can do. Get rid of invasive ornamentals. Clean boots before entering a sensitive area. If camping, don’t bring firewood from the outside. Volunteer to help eradication efforts at a nearby nature preserve.
This doesn’t generate the headlines like discussions on immigration or generate the buzz of a new sci-fi movie but it is a serious issue that deserves our attention.