The University of Minnesota is now warning aquarium owners of the Marimo ball moss plants believed to harbor aquatic invasive species.
According to a release, government agencies and invasive species programs across the country are urging stores to remove the product that was found to have juvenile zebra mussels.
“Large pet stores including PETCO and PetSmart have been extremely cooperative,” says Doug Jensen, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator. “They have removed Marimo balls from their shelves and sanitized their tanks.”
Anyone who has this product should safely dispose of the moss balls by freezing or dunking in hot water, salt water or bleach. Once treated, balls can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and thrown in the trash.
If you see zebra mussels attached to moss balls, report it to the federal Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database at https://nas.er.usgs.gov/.