Invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) have been detected in moss balls sold in pet stores across the United States, including Oregon. Be on the alert for “Betta Buddy” marimo moss balls sold by Imagitarium.
Zebra mussels are a fingernail-sized mollusk that negatively impact ecosystems. They filter out algae that native species need for food and they attach to–and incapacitate–native mussels. They can also cause damage to infrastructure like hydropower, irrigation and municipal water supplies.
What can you do?
If you have marimo moss balls in an indoor aquarium, please dispose of the water safely. Do not pour the water down a sink or drain, or in locations where it can spread into surface waters.
If you have these moss balls in an outdoor pond, or an aquarium with outflow, please remove them and place in a watertight container or plastic bag and contact the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Check out more ways to disinfect your aquarium or outdoor pond.