What is an Invasive Species?

An invasive species is a non-native organism (plant, animal or disease) that can or does harm a new environment. Invasive species can be a relocated native species that does harm in its new home or an invasive species can be a foreign species from another continent.

MOST invasive species are moved by humans!

How do I know it is an invasive species?
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Report a Pest iPhone App

Have you seen a new or unusual plant or pest in your area? If so, this app is perfect for you!

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How Can You Help?

Forestino says, "You can play an important role in protecting your state's agriculture and your environment by reporting the sighting of a pest that you suspect may be a new invasive species in your area."

Go to Report a Pest Page


The following is an alphabetical listing of information housed within the WHATISTHISBUG domain.

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Pest of the Week: An Information Source!

Interactive game!

Interactive game | Alien Invader Detectives!

Test Your Knowledge:

  • Take this interactive survey to find out how invading alien pests can impact your daily lives!
  • Hint: common items in your daily life may have more than one invasive species that can affect it.
  • Visit Alien Invader Detectives to begin your journey!

Native Species

A Native Species is found in an area, has developed in that area, and is usually kept in control by other native species of the area. Native species can be harmless, beneficial or a plant/animal/insect pest, in their area of origin.

Go to Native Species Page

Invasive Species

So just what is an invasive species? An unofficial definition could be that an invasive species is a species that does not naturally occur in a specific area and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Go to Invasive Species Page

Beneficial Species

Beneficial species are those organisms that are good for the environment. In insect species, these keep other insects in balance with the environment. Some beneficial insects are native and some are specifically imported foreign species to fight an insect problem.

Go to Beneficial Species Page

Endangered Species

Mission Blue Butterfly - Wikipedia image

An endangered species is a native species that was once widespread and is now in decline in numbers and locations. The reason for the decline of a species is varied and complicated and the approach to restoring the species numbers is usually a multifaceted effort.

CA Invasive Species List

The California Invasive Species Advisory Committee has created a list of invasive species that threaten California. This list includes species of all taxonomic types — vertebrate, invertebrate, plant and disease.

Download List

Which is Which?

stinkbugs (Photos by bugwood.org)

Do you know a “good insect” from a “bad insect”? To learn a little bit about native, introduced, good and bad insects, check out the pictures and see if you can tell “Which is Which.”

Go to Which is Which Page

Crickets, bugs, worms:
It's what's for dinner!

NBC news article image - crumbled meal worms

Some adventurous foodies are turning to insects for a taste of the exotic. It's called entomophagy — the practice of eating of insects — but adventurous diners just call it good eats. Read Article.

For More Articles, Go to News Page