An invasive species is one that is not native to the region and that threatens ecosystems, habitats or native species. One notorious example is giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum). Once sought out by gardeners for its showy 7-18 foot high blooms, it soon became a noxious intruder of creeks and riverbanks. As it also happens, giant hogweed proved harmful to human health, producing blisters and worse. Metro Vancouver manages and controls invasive species through an integrated pest management plan.
Integrated pest management uses a proactive and preventative approach, reducing reliance on pesticides and leading to a reduction in their use. This approach includes:
- Planning and managing ecosystems to prevent organisms from becoming pests.
- Identifying pest problems and potential pest problems.
- Monitoring populations of pests and beneficial organisms, damage caused by pests and environmental conditions.
- Using damage thresholds in making treatment decisions.
- Suppressing pest populations to acceptable levels using strategies based on considerations of:
- Biological, physical, cultural, mechanical, behavioural and chemical controls in appropriate combinations.
- Environmental and human health protection.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of pest management treatment.