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Weeding out what bugs us

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NARROWSBURG, NY — Invasive species of plants and insects are one of the impactful issues for both flora and fauna, as well as human health, environment and economies, according to John Thompson, who is the coordinator of the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) at the Catskill Center in Arkville. Speaking to the Upper Delaware Council on May 3, he named some of the bugs: the Asian long-horned beetle, which attacks hardwoods; the emerald ash borer; and the newer spotted lanternfly which is compared to a locust invasion and was described as “apocalyptic” in its devastating impacts. Then there are the plants that overwhelm native plants, including the now common Japanese knotweed and purple loosestrife, which clog river shorelines and are now being joined by a vine called mile-a-minute and an aquatic, invasive algae, “didymo,” also known as “rock snot,” which smothers cold-water streambeds, impacting all other native species.

Thompson said the only way to stop these invaders is for people to report them when they are newly spotted, because if new incursions are not reported they can quickly grow out of control. Find more information about invasive species at sites including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s www.nal.usda.gov. In New York, report invasives to CRISP at catskillinvasives.com .

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