Invasive Species

Invasive species can lead to the extinction of native plants and animals, reduce biodiversity, and permanently change habitats. Learn more and share with others what invasive species are, their damaging effects and the need to control them. Find out what we are doing in Fairfax County, what you can do to make a difference and how to recognize, prevent, control, and report them.

Invasive species (plants, animals, or diseases) are those intentionally or accidentally introduced by human activity causing ecological or economic damage within a region in which they did not evolve. These species are usually characterized by unrestricted growth with few natural pests or predators. These qualities allow them to spread quickly, and they can aggressively outcompete desired native species causing harm to natural resources, humans, and the local economy.

Here are some ways that invasive species are introduced to new areas: Pathways of Introduction and Spread.

United States Department of Agriculture, National Invasive Species Information Center for more information.

As of January 1, 2023, running bamboo must be contained on an owner's property.

Avoid The Fine, Don't Let Running Bamboo Grow Beyond Your Property Line.

Running bamboo is a fast-growing, invasive grass with a complex, horizontal root system called rhizomes that aggressively spread underground, as much as 15 feet per year. Once planted, running bamboo can eventually take over yards and travel across property lines, creating issues for adjacent property owners and local jurisdictions.

The new ordinance requires property owners to contain running bamboo on their property and prevent it from spreading beyond their property line. Property owners may incur penalties if they allow bamboo to spread beyond their property.

Learn more about the damage it causes, as well as how to contain, remove and dispose of Running Bamboo.

Read the information sheet: EnglishArabicChineseFarsiKoreanSpanishUrdu and Vietnamese  


Working Together on Invasive Species

While Fairfax County and its partners work hard to provide the best services for controlling invasive species, we rely on the engaged residents of Fairfax to support our efforts to identify, manage, and control invasive species. Learn more about the County's work and discover numerous opportunities for you to get involved!

Countywide Strategic Plan - Environment and Energy Outcomes

Our collective work on invasive species helps Fairfax County make progress on our Countywide Strategic Plan through our environmental policies and practices that support air, water and land quality. It is important for people to have the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment, and that residents, businesses, county employees and visitors share in the responsibility to improve environmental outcomes.

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