An invasive zebra mussel that poses a serious threat to Wyoming’s natural resources and water systems has been found in moss balls, a product sold at many aquarium and pet supply stores. If you have a moss ball, we need your help to stop zebra mussels. All moss balls are impacted.

  • Never pour aquarium water or plants or release unwanted pets into any natural waters.

  • Dispose of any moss balls you have using the Game and Fish step-by-step guide.

  • Do not flush or pour water down drains if it's been in contact with moss balls.

  • Do not buy new moss balls to add to your tank.

Once zebra mussels become established in reservoirs, lakes or even city water systems, they wreak havoc. They remove nutrients from water, clog pipes and waterways, damage boats and out-compete native mussels. Further, in many cases, zebra mussels are impossible to remove and could have costly impacts for Wyoming.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO STOP THE SPREAD OF ZEBRA MUSSELS TO OUR WYOMING WATERS.


Zebra mussel found on a moss ball.

One of several types of moss balls with invasive mussels.

Zebra mussel on a moss ball.

 

IF YOU HAVE A MOSS BALL

Please follow these steps to keep Wyoming’s waters free of zebra mussels.

 
  • Remove any pets from the water and tank.

  • Remove the moss ball, other plants and any water from the aquarium and put them into a heat-safe pot. Do not dispose of any water down the drain or toilet.

  • Inspect the moss ball and tank for zebra mussels and if you find any contact your local Game and Fish regional office.

  • Boil the moss balls, plants and any water it’s been in contact with at least five minutes

  • Dispose of the moss ball and other plants in trash. 

  • Pour out the boiled water on a semi-permeable surface. That could be a houseplant or outside — like grass or soil — that is not located near standing water or a storm drain.



 
If you know
or suspect someone of having
zebra mussels in their aquarium or
has dumped their water or moss ball into
a Wyoming water, please call
1-877-WGFD-TIP to anonymously
report. 

We urge you to call if you have information.
Our goal is to learn where zebra mussels could be in Wyoming.


Other challenges
Moss balls aren't the only aquatic invasive species problem Wyoming faces. Find out more information about other challenges and what the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is doing to prevent invasive species. 

About Wyoming's efforts to prevent aquatic invasive species
Why you shouldn't let you pets loose
 

STAY UP TO DATE

HOW - TO GUIDES

Learn how to dispose of moss balls. These resources can be easily shared and printed.

Infographic on how to properly dispose moss balls

Poster for pet stores to print and display

Information from the US Fish and Wildlife Service

WY INVASIVE RESPONSE TEAM

Formed by Gov. Gordon, the Wyoming Invasive Response Team is a multi-agency effort to stop the spread of and limit impacts from invasive zebra mussels in Wyoming.

The team is lead by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture.

Members include: Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, Wyoming Department of Transportation, Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, Wyoming Energy Authority, Wyoming Department of Tourism, Wyoming Water Development Commission and Wyoming Office of Homeland Security.

Wyoming Invasive Response Team evaluating potential impacts from zebra mussel discovery

Governor Gordon Convenes Invasive Mussel Emergency Response Team
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If you have questions about Wyoming's aquatic invasive species preventation program please email joshua.leonard@wyo.gov.
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