Updated March 26, 2021

Zebra/Quagga mussels found in moss ball products across Canada: Learn proper disposal and reporting 

Invasive Zebra and/or Quagga mussels have been identified in moss ball products sold in stores in the United States. At this time, there are also reports that infected moss balls have also arrived in Canada, specifically via moss ball products in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, AlbertaSaskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. These products are sold for use in aquariums to improve water quality. 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada and their federal and provincial counterparts are looking closely into this issue and sharing information as it becomes available. The Invasive Species Centre is working in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and their federal and provincial counterparts to help share this information.  

We encourage anyone who may have recently purchased moss ball products to dispose of them responsibly. Here’s how to dispose of them safely: 

  • Place the moss ball into a sealable plastic bag and freeze for at least 24 hours, or place the moss ball in boiling water for at least one full minute. 
  • After this, place the moss ball and any of its packaging in a sealed plastic bag and dispose in the trash. 
  • If the moss balls have already been placed in an aquarium, following removal of moss balls, the tank and all accessories (e.g. rocks, decorations, etc.) should be washed with a strong solution of chlorine bleach and water. Alternately, careful use of boiling water may also be effective. More details are available here.
  • Please do not flush moss balls down the toilet or dispose of them in the compost. Never dump aquarium tank pets, plants or water into any residential water system or waterway. 
  • Call your local aquatic invasive species authority to report it here

Potential impacts of Zebra/Quagga mussels: 

Zebra mussels pose a serious threat to Canada’s aquatic ecosystems, fish populations, hydropower stations and other infrastructure since they multiply rapidly and are extremely difficult to eradicate once they become established in an area. 

Further information: 

Information on the disposal of moss balls from Fisheries and Oceans Canada here.

For more information on Zebra and Quagga mussels visit our website

For more about aquatic invasive species in Canada, please click here.

For more information about decontamination of aquariums, please visit: 

  • The Government of British Columbia website here. 
  • The New Brunswick Invasive Species Council here.

For more information on Zebra Mussels from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, click here.

For more information on Quagga Mussels from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, click here

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