Invasive Species: Minimize Your Impact

Helpful Habits

Humans have played a major role in the transportation of invasive species both locally and at an international level. Whether you’re gardening, boating, hiking, or just enjoying time outdoors this section will offer you tips on how you can help minimize the risk of spreading invasive species.

Enjoying the Outdoors

  • Before you come back from a hike or another outdoor activity that takes you near invasive species, it’s important to clean soil and seeds off of your shoes and any equipment while you’re still at that site. This can help reduce the risk of invasive seeds spreading to a new region.
  • If you were doing any water activities make sure you leave the equipment used to dry out in the sun before moving to a new location so that aquatic invasive species are not transported.
  • When enjoying your campfires make sure not to transport wood from another area. It’s best to get the firewood from the site or region where you’ll be using it.

Responsible Gardening

    • Before adding a plant to your garden check to see if it is an invasive species. If it is invasive and you’re looking for a native alternative – check out the Ontario Invasive Plant Council’s ‘Grow Me Instead’ Guide.
    • Be aware of the term ‘wildflower’ since wildflowers can be non-native and potentially invasive. Always check the package for the species list and ensure you know each plant.
    • Be careful when planting species that are native to Ontario, but are uncommon or rare in your region. Should you wish to add such plants to your garden it is best to keep them away from any area that is adjacent to a greenspace.
    • It is important to be cautious with plants that are advertised as ‘groundcovers’ as a number of commonly used groundcovers are invasive, such as Periwinkle.
    • Never dump green waste (brush, cuttings, spent seed pods or lawn clippings) from your garden into natural areas or adjacent greenspaces as this can spread invasive species and smother native plants. Download our STOP DUMPING YARD WASTE POSTER PDF here and help spread the word!


 Aquarium Safety

  • When emptying any contents from an aquarium or water garden do not put the contents into sewers, ditches, and natural waterways as the species or materials may become invasive or harm native ecosystems.
  • Make sure you research what plants you are adding into your aquarium or water garden. Some species, such as the Fanwort can become an aggressive invasive plant if they are released into natural areas.
  • One way to help ensure that your aquarium or water garden will be safe from spreading invasive species is to purchase native vegetation for your indoor and outdoor aquariums and water gardens.

Fishing Tips

  • When you go fishing make sure you properly dispose of your bait. Live bait or bait that may have non-native bugs on it may cause damage to the natural environment should they be released into the water.
  • Any unused bait needs to be salted and frozen for future use or sent to the landfill through the garbage.
  • When deciding on what bait to use, it is important to be aware of regulations where you are fishing and only use legal bait species.
  • If the water in a bait bucket you are using is from another source it should never be dipped into another water way.
  • Fish should never be moved from one body of water to another, as it could cause serious damage to the water way.


Please note that the invasive species information provided on this page is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult the Invading Species Awareness Program or Ontario Invasive Plant Council for more detailed information and be sure to obtain necessary permissions from private property owners and to investigate and adhere to all applicable laws, bylaws and up-to-date management guides before undertaking any invasive species management activities.

Learn more:

Invasive Species: What are they?

Invasive Species: Oakville’s Most Wanted

Reporting Invasive Species