Save the Date!
Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference February 26-28 in Port Aransas, TX

This February, the Texas Invasive Plant & Pest Council and the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species will co-host the fifth statewide conference on invasive species at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas. Building on previous conferences, the 2014 conference will be a professional level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, posters, field trips and symposia. This conference is designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agencies, local governments, the green industry and other stakeholders interested in invasive species issues in the state of Texas.

To learn more about the Conference Program, Call for Papers, Abstract Submission, or Sponsors and Exhibitors, visit the 2014 Conference Website at

Follow this link to register.
Follow this link to submit an abstract.

Pest Alert! Zebra Mussel

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has released  new rules to prevent spread of invasive zebra mussels.

Anglers and boaters leaving or approaching public waters in 17 North Texas counties will be required to drain their boats to prevent further spread of this environmental and industrial menace. The new rules will take place in late December 2013 or January 2013. 

Instructions on preventing the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic species can be found here. Remember, always Clean, Drain, Dry to protect our waters.

Click here to read the full press release from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on the new rules on zebra mussels. 
Report a Zebra Mussel  
Invasive Spotlight: 
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
(Halyomorpha halys)

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is an invasive pest native to eastern Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in 2001 in Pennsylvania. It is suspected that it originated from cargo shipments in the mid 1990s.

BMSB has spread down the eastern coast as far as Virginia and has been detected as far south as Texas. 

This pest is known to attack high value tree fruit crops, vegetables and small fruit. In urban areas, the pest has been a nuisance as it seeks warmth to overwinter. 

Learn more about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.
Halyomorpha_ halys

More News

Tawny Crazy Ants Threaten NASA
Since arriving in Texas in 2002, tawny crazy ants have spread to Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. Now, the crazy ants have invaded the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston and threaten electronics and facilities. Read more here.  

APHIS Adds the Entirety of Missouri to the Emerald Ash Borer Regulated Area
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expanding the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer to include the entire state of Missouri. The Federal Order, outlines the conditions for the interstate movement of regulated articles, including host wood and wood products. Read the APHIS press release.

Florida's New Weapon to Fight Invasive Pests
The Florida Department of Agriculture rescued a 2-year-old pointer mix from a animal shelter and gave it new skills. Connie, a Pointer mix, will work to prevent and ultimately eradicate conehead termites by sniffing out the pest. Read the full news release by the Florida Department of Agriculture

Emerald Ash Borer Has High Cost
The city of Wheaton, Illinois has been devastated by the introduction of the emerald ash borer with reportedly 85% of all ash trees infected. To combat this species and stop the spread, the Wheaton City Council has approved a $3.2 million dollar plan that will remove 5,512 ash trees. Read the full story by the Daily Herald.

New Methods to Detect Invasive Mussels
New sampling and testing methods, have been developed by the Bureau of Reclamation's Detection Laboratory at the Technical Service Center in Denver, Colorado. These new techniques and procedures will improve the accuracy of quagga and zebra mussel detection while still at the microscopic larval stage. Read the entire article by Science Daily.

Harrison County Approves Funding to Combat Giant Salvinia
The Harrison County Court of Commissioners unanimously approved additional funding to the Cypress Valley Navigation District to help save Caddo Lake from gaint salvinia. These additional funds will help construct a biocontrol production facility for the gaint salvinia weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae. Read the entire news release by the Marshall News Messenger.

Extension Service to Present on Tawny Crazy Ant
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service will give a presentation on the tawny crazy ant on Tuesday, December 3 in Galveston County. Learn more and get involved by visiting the Houston Chronicle.

Introducing the Plant Heroes
The American Public Gardens Association has created a website for kids and educators that focuses on invasive pests like the emerald ash borer and introduces prevention methods such as encouraging people to avoid moving firewood from infested areas. Plant Heroes has lots of activities, downloads and more. Visit the Plant Heroes and take the Plant Hero Pledge. Online Training
Would you like to learn about invasive species and become involved in the Invaders of Texas Program but don't have time to attend a workshop? Consider signing up for online training, which you can complete on your own schedule. Topics include GPS use, detection reporting and much more. Get involved today by visiting

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to


Citizen Scientists of the Month
Rolling Plains Invaders

The November Citizen Scientists of the Month are the Rolling Plains Invaders. This Invader group represents the Texas Master Naturalist Rolling Plains Chapter based in Wichita Falls. This satellite formed in 2009 and has submitted over 160 observations, totaling 21.8 hours of service.

"Rolling Plains Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist members are proud to do their part for our environment." reports Chapter President Terry McKee. "By informing our community of the numerous invasive plants in our area, our hope is to encourage our citizens to be aware and plant more drought-friendly native species". 

If you would like more information about the Rolling Plains Chapter and their conservation projects, please visit or visit the chapter on their Facebook page.

If you would like to highlight a successful invasive species project or nominate a special person to be highlighted in an upcoming iWire, please send the details to


Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Species Workshops

Invaders of Texas workshops train volunteers to become citizen scientists to detect and report invasive species. Workshops include information on the Sentinel Pest Network, which serves to increase the awareness of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.

Workshops can be tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.

We have funding from USDA APHIS and the Texas A&M Forest Service for 10 workshops in the upcoming months, so schedule your free workshop, today!

Upcoming Workshops:

Wednesday, January 26, 2014

Location: New Braunfels Public Library (New Braunfels, TX)
Contact: Rosalie Meier

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Location: River Legacy Living Science Center (Arlington, TX)
Contact: Registrar

For more information or to register to attend a workshop, please visit the Workshop Page