The news this week that zebra mussels have been found in two more lakes in Connecticut is yet another example how we often seem to be working at cross purposes when it comes to controlling invasive species.

Native to Russia and Eastern Europe, these freshwater clams made it to the Great Lakes in the 1980s via container ships.

With all the global trade, this was probably inevitable. They quickly spread eastward, reaching the Hudson River Basin, and have spread even further.

While there is a certain amount of natural migration, that would not explain their rapid spread. That comes from boaters. The mussels hitch a ride from one body of water to another. As a result, wherever they appear, wildlife officials have mounted publicity campaigns to urge boaters to thoroughly clean their boats before leaving an infested lake.

A single female can produce between 30,000 and 1 million eggs per year. There’s no known way to get rid of them. All anyone can do is to try to contain the spread.

The presence of these mussels can alter the food chain of a body of water, by filtering out the plankton, depriving much of the other aquatic life of a major food source. And as they multiply, they clog drains and other piping.

Unfortunately, too many don’t care or don’t understand the problem, and so the spreading continues.