Zebra Mussels Found in Pet Store Aquarium Moss Balls, Owners Urged to Dispose
Invasive species programs across the country are urging stores to remove Marimo Ball Moss Plants from sale after they were discovered to harbor zebra mussels. Tiny zebra mussels were found in the imported aquarium plants, which are sold in pet, nursery, and home decor stores.
According to a release, consumers are urged not to purchase this product but if they have any at home, to safely
dispose of them by freezing or dunking in hot water, saltwater, or bleach. Once treated, balls can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and thrown in the trash. If balls were placed in an aquarium or terrarium, it is a good idea to treat the tank, pump, and accessories after removing fish, animals and plants.
Zebra mussels, and their relatives, quagga mussels, can quickly take over once they get into lakes and rivers. These invasive mussels can clog drinking water intakes and foul boat hulls, motors, docks, and lifts. They disrupt the food chain and slow the growth of young walleye, making them vulnerable to predation and poor winter survival, according to a recent study by the University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Center.