Invasive (or nuisance) plants and animals are species 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.

Invasives you may have heard of include buckthorn, garlic mustard, zebra mussels and emerald ash borers, but red-eared sliders and crown vetch are also on the list.

Some are originally from places as far away as Asia and Europe or as close as the Ohio River Basin, and they usually enter new areas because of human activities.

Because they're not native to DuPage, they have no natural predators. This coupled with their ability to adapt well to new environments means that they can spread through prairies, woodlands, lakes and rivers, eliminating native species and damaging ecosystems as they go.