ESSEX, Vt. — The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is reminding waterfowl hunters to avoid using invasive plants when building waterfowl blinds.

David Sausville, Vermont’s waterfowl biologist, says while most knowledgeable waterfowl hunters avoid using invasive plants, sometimes people mistakenly add phragmites, Japanese knotweed and purple loosestrife as materials.

Officials say the invasive plants can easily spread — even from just one stem — into new wetlands and devastate habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.

Hunters are advised to use cedar bows, corn stalks or cattails for waterfowl blinds. But cattails should be cut above water because they may have invasive snails attached to them.

Hunters should also clean, drain and dry all boats, trailers and equipment as well to remove all plants and mud from boots and hunting gear.