If it seems like you are hearing a lot about invasive species lately, you're not wrong. Over the past few years, more and more people are becoming aware of plants and bugs that don't belong in the Hudson Valley.

Some of these bugs and plants are harmless to us and our environment. Take the Stink Bug for instance. Smelly and weird but not really too destructive however nothing seems to eat them so they are everywhere, that's annoying. The Spotted Lantern Fly however is a big problem we can't let get worse.

When is National Invasive Species Week?

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has reminded us that this week, February 26th through March 3rd, is National Invasive Species Awareness Week.

This is the perfect time to get to know what bugs, plants, and other creatures are arriving in our area unwanted.

Canva / NYSDEC YouTube
Canva / NYSDEC YouTube

SEE Also: NYS DEC WIns Emmy For Invasive Species Documentary

Monitoring your yard and places you like to visit for invasive species like the Spotted Lanternfly can help the NYS DEC in mapping its progress and hopefully help them keep the spread down while they try to remove it altogether. You can also learn more by attending events near you to learn what to look for in the Hudson Valley.

How Do Unwanted Plants and Bugs Get to New York?

Helping the NYS DEC track things you see when you are out and about helps them understand the spread but we also need to do our part to keep these invaders from getting here in the first place. All too often people are the ones transporting bugs and plants from place to place.

The NYS DEC has a link for you to report findings.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Marine life can be spread when boats are taken from rivers to lakes and not cleaned properly between uses. Firewood transported from one place to another can result in bugs leaving one area and ending up in another. Always buy your firewood locally. Taking wood from your home to the campground or vice versa can result in bugs going from one place to another quickly.

NYS DEC Emmy Winning Documentary About Invasive Species

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5 of New York's Most Devastating Invasive Species

Here are 5 species that have invaded New York State and in some cases they must be killed. We are talking about fish that walk on land, plants that cause severe burns and insects that could wipe out a variety of crops that we rely on.

Keep an eye out for these species and you hike, work around the yard or do some fishing this year. Should you locate any of these it is important to report where and when you found them to the New York State DEC.

Gallery Credit: Karolyi

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The 25 Absolute Best Hikes in the Hudson Valley

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Gallery Credit: Weston Loving

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