Green Crush: Holy apple maggots!

By weeklyvolcano on September 28, 2009



There's nothing like a walk in the woods at Point Defiance Park to clear your mind. The chirping of birds, the wind rustling through the trees â€" away from computers, microwave dinners, and traffic. It's peace, naturally.

But not all green is good. Most casual walkers on a stroll through the trails don't realize that in the calming shade of the vegetation around them, there's an ongoing war for survival between species native to South Sound and immigrants from abroad. These invaders arrive via bird droppings, through lawn ornamentals that naturalize, and in the ballast water of oceangoing tankers.

The Washington State Invasive Species Council announced today the launch of a hotline and Web site for people to report sightings of invasive species.

Invasive species are plants and animals that are not native to Washington and can crowd out local wildlife and plants, destroying entire landscapes. From ivy choking city parks, to Spartina filling estuaries, to apple maggots infesting orchards, invasive species cost Washington millions of dollars to control every year.

The creation of the hotline, 1-877-9-INFEST, is one of a series of actions being taken by the Invasive Species Council and its partners to combat invasive species. The council also has revamped its Web site and created posters in state parks and other materials to help educate the public about what they can do to help stop invasions.

If you see an apple maggot call the hotline immediately.