Moss balls

Invasive zebra mussels have been found in “moss balls,‚ÄĚplant product sold at aquarium and pet supply stores, garden centers, florist shops, and online retailers.  Zebra mussels are regarded as one of the most destructive invasive species in North America.

Zebra mussels can quickly take over once they get established in a waterbody and cause significant damage including disrupting the food chain, changing the chemistry of the water (which can cause more blue green algae outbreaks or offensive taste), and clogging water intake and delivery systems. The concern is that live mussels released into a storm drain or flushed could be introduced into a waterway.

A moss ball is a species of green algae that is formed into a ball and is 2 to 5 inches in diameter. Moss balls are used in home aquariums, terrariums, and water gardens.

2 thoughts on “Moss balls”

  1. Hello everyone!
    We have started a rapid response project to genetically type zebra mussels found in moss ball containers to potentially determine their origins and/or link them to future local infestations. We will do the analysis and provide results at no cost (you just need to ship them). If you or your agency are interested in more details or have samples you are willing/able to share, please let me know.
    Nick Phelps
    Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center

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