Zebra mussels found in moss balls at Rapid City pet store

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RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA) – Zebra mussels were found in an aquarium product sold at a Rapid City pet store, according to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks.

The invasive species has been found in Marimo moss balls, a type of algae that draws nutrients from water that would otherwise feed less desirable forms of algae, at the Rapid City PetSmart and six other Dakota pet stores in the United States. South.

All contaminated products were removed from pet stores and discarded, according to Tanner Davis, GFP’s aquatic invasive species coordinator. The moss balls were imported to the United States from Ukraine, where zebra mussels are native.

Zebra mussels have invaded more than 600 lakes and rivers in the United States and can create a myriad of problems, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They spread quickly, eat the phytoplankton in the lake, and cause heavy metals to accumulate in the ecosystem faster than usual.

Fish owners who have recently purchased moss balls from the following stores should place the potentially contaminated product in a plastic bag, freeze it and dispose of the contents in the trash, according to GFP. Do not rinse or use chemicals on the moss balls, as the zebra mussels would likely survive.

Pet stores that sold Marimo foam balls included:

  • PetSmart, Rapid City
  • PetCo, Sioux Falls (2)
  • Mini-Critters, Sioux Falls
  • Woofs & Waves, Sioux Falls
  • Ed’s Animal World, Mitchell
  • Critter Mart & More, Watertown

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