Okanagans Most Unwanted!!

two partners in crime

Invasive species

Invasive species are organisms that originally started somewhere else, but then came to be in a different place. They get here either naturally by just seed spreading or by humans who don't know what they are. They are called invasive species because they invade the other organisms habitats and choke them out.

Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife also known as Lythrum salicaria is a purple flowered plant that can grow anywhere from 0.5 meters to 3 meters. It has mainly whorled leaves that are lance shaped and stalk-less, at the base however, the leaves are hearty shaped. The leaves can range anywhere from 3-10 centimeters. The upper section is generally covered in short hairs. It prefers to live in sunny wetlands. The purple loosestrife is native to; great Britain, central and Southern Europe, central Russia, Japan, Manchuria, Southeast Asia and Northern Japan. It was first introduced into North America in the 1800's in a water ballast of a ship. It was then planted in a Port Alberni garden and has spread from there throughout southern British Columbia. The purple loosestrife out-competes other plants for light, space and pollinators. it also chokes wildlife and it is estimated that in the U.S around 200,000 hectares are lost to purple loosestrife. One plant can produce up too 2.7 million seeds a year.
Video 10 - Purple Loosestrife

European Paper Wasp

The European paper wasp also known as Polistes dominula is a black wasp with yellow stripes, spots and bands on their bodies. They have a narrow waist with gradual construction. Their legs are long and slender and they they dangle below the body during flight. They prefer to build their nest in crevasses, back patios and gardens. It originated from; countries around the Mediterranean, southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and eastward into China. They make it a problem in the fruit growing areas, because they bite off the skin of the fruit. They also spread bacteria, yeast and fungi.
Alien Invaders in California - European Paper Wasps

European Paper Wasp nest

The European paper wasp nest is shaped like an upside down umbrella, with the cells opening downwards and are not covered in a paper shell. The nest are usually built in protected spots, including cavities. They are usually in a warm south-facing position. the drone wasps are all of the male wasps that fly outside the nest waiting to mate with the queen bee. While the worker bees are all the females and they work for the queen bee.

What Are We Doing To Stop These Criminals?

To stop the spread of the Purple Loosestrife, three agents have been released into the province. These agents are; root boring beetle, and two types of leaf eating beetle. However, at the present moment, there is nothing being done to prevent the spread of the European Paper Wasp, because they are not a major nuisance besides the fact that they sting.