Free app can help you identify invasive species

FLORENCE, Wis. – The Florence Natural Resource Center at the intersection of Highways 2 and 70 has a lot of information on identifying and controlling invasive species, according Leora Smith, UW-Extension Summer Horticultural Assistant for Florence County

Invasive species are plants that rapidly reproduce, mature quickly, and compete with native species for space, nutrients, etc. They have a dramatic, and not positive, effect on our native ecosystems, thereby disturbing plant communities and wildlife habitats.

How do you, as a homeowner, help to combat this insidious intruder? You pay attention to what you purchase and plant in your home garden. And, for assistance with this, “there is an app for that.” Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) has a free App available for both Apple and Android devices (“”>

It provides a thumbnail view of the invasive plant, insect, etc.; allowing you to identify invasive species anywhere your Smartphone can go. A recent hands-on training for the Wisconsin First Detector Network ( was provided to help empower the public to take action against these invasive species. For those preferring printed pictures, check out our “Alien Invader Wisconsin Wildcards” in the upper level of the Resource Center.

You could use these cards to plan a scavenger hunt with your kids for a fun and educational summer activity. For those more passionate about learning about “invasive species”, there is a Facebook page dedicated to providing information on the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (, where you can find pictures of the plants, with a local perspective.

The link can be found at the bottom of the WRISC website. If you would like more information about this topic, feel free to contact Smith at (715) 528-4480, or email her at