PlayCleanGo Blog

Why Invasive Species are Like a Bad Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Mar 4, 2019 8:03:00 AM / by Hannah Bowers

Why Invasive Species are like a Bad Boyfriend_Twin Sisters ColoradoAs I was summiting Twin Sisters in Colorado, I felt like I was on top of the world! Emotionally, because there’s nothing better than hiking in the mountains, and literally because I was standing on an 11,427 ft. peak.

Then my mind drifted to more unpleasant thoughts—my annoying hiking partners also known as, invasive species. Particularly, I started to worry about how to properly clean off my hiking gear – my shoes, my socks, my pack, my clothes! I wanted to avoid tracking dirt, seeds and those illusive invasive species on an airplane, across the country, back home to Alabama. I needed to drop them like a bad habit, dump them like a bad boyfriend (or girlfriend).

Then it hit me, why are invasive species like a bad boyfriend (or girlfriend)? Let me give you a few reasons:

They can be attractive—At first glance, your partner may be as eye-catching as a field of yellow irises. Gorgeous, even. Nothing indicates that they are bad news bears, until you learn more about them.

They’re shady about their past—Bad partners and invasive species won’t willingly tell you about their dark history. They will insist that they are totally normal, they belong here, stop questioning their old whereabouts! *Eyeroll*

They can be found anywhere—You never go out expecting to get into a bad relationship. They’re sneaky that way. You can be somewhere totally innocent, like a coffee shop or garden center, and there they are, waiting to trick you.

They’re clingy—Invasive species and bad partners know when they’re not wanted, so they’ll work that much harder to latch on. Have you ever tried scrubbing zebra mussels off a boat hull or kicking someone out of your house? Not pleasant!

Why Invasive Species are like a Bad Boyfriend_Twin Sisters Colorado 2They’re dirty—No matter how many times you have to say it, they will track mud, dirt and everything in-between all over your clean floors. You’ll bemoan the fact that you didn’t give them the brush off when you should have

They’re bad neighbors—Not to assume, but bad partners are usually bad neighbors, blasting music and only caring about themselves. Likewise, with invasive species. Kudzu is one of the worst neighbors in the world—it takes over literally all the land.

They cause stress—Being outdoors and being in a good relationship are two things that should bring happiness. They’re also two things that can cause great stress when dealing with annoying partners or invasive species, like my summit in Colorado.

They don’t listen—The most frustrating thing of all, Am I Right? There’s a reason they’re called invasive.

They’re kind of our fault—Whether we purchased them from a garden center, let them hitchhike on our gear, let them take a ride in the back of our truck, or found them on an app, we unintentionally let these bad relationships into our lives. But with a strong will and some confidence, we all can say goodbye and good riddance to both bad relationships and invasive species.

Love is wonderful, if your relationship is full of roses and tulips and other lovely, native species. But if not, maybe it’s time to give bad relationships the brush off, the wash off, the boot!


Hannah Bowers

Written by Hannah Bowers

Communications & Program Manager, North America Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) & PlayCleanGo

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