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Clean off invasive species from your outdoor gear - Tips for recreational divers
Photo credit: Thomas Brenner/Flickr

Tips for Recreational Divers


Divers can accidentally spread zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS) when they get caught in the folds and seams of diving suits and can hitchhike in the nooks and crannies of equipment.


Inspect and clean off visible plants, animals, and mud from wetsuit, dry suit, mask, snorkel, fins, buoyancy compensator (BC), regulator, cylinder, weight belt, watercraft, motor, and trailer before leaving water access. Soak gear used in saltwater dives in 5% dishwashing liquid solution (1 cup/gallon), or gear used in freshwater dives in 3.5% salt solution (1/2 cup/gallon) for 30 minutes. This method is most effective for zebra mussel larvae, but is also effective in treating other small AIS. Rinse inside and outside of gear with hot water when possible.


Drain water from BC, regulator, cylinder boot, watercraft, motor, and any water-containing devices before leaving water access.


Dry everything five days or more, unless otherwise required by local or state laws, when moving between waters to kill species not easily seen. If drying is not possible, wipe with a towel before reuse.


Information on this page is provided by Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Download the entire "Tips for Recreational Divers" handout here.

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