My naïve self has thought, "bugs are so small, how much damage can they really do?" The answer is A LOT, especially if they have traveled very far from where they're originally from. Invasive species can cause massive harm to the environment, economy, and human health.

So what is an invasive species?

New Hampshire Fish and Game defines an invasive species as a plant, animal, or any other organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment it is not native to. Just because a species is new, doesn’t necessarily mean it is invasive. When it begins disrupting its surroundings, that's when the invasive part comes in.

Many invasive species are currently limited by temperature, and are likely to expand northward into New Hampshire as a result of warmer temperatures caused by climate change. Disruptions such as large storms or drought may also introduce species and create conditions that allow invasive species to be fruitful and multiply. From the northern forests to the Seacoast, invasive species may change the plants and animals we see in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Fish and Game is constantly working to resist invasive species and control those that are already present in the state. Knowing how to identify these invasive critters is helpful for anyone! It allows you to protect yourself and also report your findings to the appropriate authorities to further their research.

7 Invasive Insect Species That Can Damage Crops and Other Plants in New Hampshire

In an effort to inform the public on the types of invasive species that are known to be found in their state, the USDA offers a handy dandy "Pest Tracker". This allows you to simply click the name of your state from the drop-down menu provided to see pictures of the different insects and weeds, along with descriptions of the type of plant life they target and the damage they can do if they're not dealt with.

Gallery Credit: Kira

For more information on each of these pests, visit the Pest Tracker on the USDA website. And, if you spot any of these in your area, contact your local Department of Agriculture, or New Hampshire Fish and Game.

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Gallery Credit: Megan

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