Invasive species, also called nuisance species, are plants and animals that are “nonnative” — that live in an area but are not originally from that area — and whose presence damages the environment, the economy or human health. They usually enter new areas because of human activities, but new invasives can also appear when native species crossbreed with nonnative ones. Nationwide, the cost of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species damage and control each year can reach $138 billion — more than all other natural disasters combined.
Invasive species in DuPage County are originally from places as far away as Asia and Europe and as close as the Ohio River Basin. Because they are not native to DuPage County, they have no natural predators or pests. This coupled with their ability to adapt well to new environments means that they can spread through prairies, woodlands, lakes and waterways, eliminating native species and damaging ecosystems as they go.