Invasive Species

The death of his prized horse has a Washington state lawmaker warning about a noxious weed that’s spreading in the Northwest. That weed is toxic to horses and can have a gruesome effect on their hooves.

Sueann Ramella / Northwest Public Radio

It was a little too hot to weed in the garden this week which may have you frustrated because you know how fast they can grow. Believe it or not, some serve a purpose besides breaking your back. Have you ever noticed that weeds take over bare spots? This is Mother Nature’s way of saving the valuable topsoil from eroding or blowing away. Weeds with deep taproots break up hard soil so other plants can reach water. But let’s face it, some weeds need to go and you have lots of herbicides to choose from. 

Matt Levin / Flickr

Native grasses once blanketed the Palouse country of southeastern Washington. Today, much of this hilly terrain has been converted to wheat fields.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Imagine how cool it would be to detect rare or invasive species, study biodiversity or to estimate fish abundance with just a scoop of air or a dip of water. It'd be like science fiction come true. Well, science fiction is indeed becoming reality through a new sampling technology called environmental DNA.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network


  Chefs and adventurous diners converged at Zenith Vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley near Salem.

Cassandra Profita / OPB

On September 28, several hundred people are expected to gather at a vineyard near Salem, Oregon, to chew on the problem of invasive species.

This is not just food for thought though. Celebrity chefs will compete in a cook-off using undesirable weeds and animals.

Devan Schwartz / EarthFix

What could be the largest carp removal project in history is underway at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon.

EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on the attempts to curb the invasive fish that has destroyed bird habitat for decades.

Vaughn Walton, OSU

A malodorous invasive bug has gone from a worry to a certifiable nuisance for some Northwest farmers and gardeners. The name of this insect is a mouthful: the brown marmorated stink bug. Researchers say the population really seems to have taken off this year. With the approach of winter, these stink bugs are leaving the fields and may just crawl into your home.

A trio of Oregon entomologists has a plum assignment this holiday season. They're heading to Hawaii to help spot pests trying to hitch a ride to paradise on the branches of Oregon-grown Christmas trees.

Ashley Ahearn

Gumbo and Jambalaya may not be at the top of traditional Northwest menus, but if the invasive red swamp crayfish has its way, that could change. The crayfish – also known as a crawfish or crawdad – is native to the Southeastern U.S. and the Gulf Coast.

But over the past decade this firey-clawed, and delicious, crustacean has moved in on Northwestern lakes. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.