Invasive Species Society warns of new pests and common plants to watch out for – Penticton News

Solid progress has been made targeting invasive species in the Okanagan, thanks to Okanagan staff and the Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASIS), although there are still species of concern spreading throughout the valley. .

Lisa Scott, the executive director of OASIS, presented a summary of the organization’s work beginning in 2021 at the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District meeting Thursday morning.

After 25 years of work, Scott said they continue to wage war on invasive species.

“We chemically treated a total of 25 hectares with a total of 964 treatments and we mechanically treated 278 sites covering a total of eight hectares,” she shared, adding that they had 281 sites surveyed with no plants found. .

“And just to be clear, if we don’t find any plants at a site where we previously had invasive plants, we don’t just think our job is done and we’re off. There is a formula depending on the invasive plant we are targeting there.

The team continues to focus their efforts on a species of plant known to be fatal to horses if eaten, the alyssum ash. The plant continues to appear around farms and rural properties in Summerland and throughout the Okanagan, creeping into the Similkameen.

While OASIS is working with municipalities and the Department of Transportation to tackle the plant in public areas and along roads, they also need private landowners to work with them.

“It makes no sense for us to continue putting public funds on the road if we don’t encourage reciprocal effort on private lands. We have no jurisdiction there. So these are very strong encouragements and incentives that allow us to help private landowners take the necessary steps,” explained Scott.

The organization’s primary areas of interest include the control of borer vine and longspine sandbur on agricultural land and organic farms.

They also continue to work with the Okanagan Basin Water Board, trying to keep invasive mussels and clams out of the water.

“We also take care of emerging species. And from my perspective, emergent species are really all about insect pests,” Scott added.

Brown marmorated stink bugs have been found in the Similkameen and Okanagan Valley, and there have been other reports in downtown Kelowna spreading to orchards in the mission area.

“As far as control options are concerned, they are unfortunately limited at this time. So we are just the messenger, but the Department of Agriculture is working with the Federal Department of Agriculture to determine where to go with this pest insect. particular.

According to the province, the chinch bug is a very serious pest that feeds on more than 100 different plant species. In 2010, an estimated $37 million loss due to BMSB feeding was reported by the apple industry in the mid-Atlantic states.

Any report should be sent to the Department of Agriculture or the Kelowna office, along with a photo of the stink bug or a sample taken from a bottle or bag. Find more information here.

A new species to put on your radar is the spotted lanternfly. Although not yet reported in Canada, this invasive pest likes grapes and fruit trees. It was added to the federal government’s list of regulated pests in 2018 in an effort to prevent introduction from infested areas.

“This little guy caused up to 90% damage in the vineyards. We don’t want that here,” Scott added.

To learn more about identifying and removing invasive plant species in the Okanagan and Similkameen, click here.