How To Recognize & Control Invasive Weeds

Weeds are more than just a nuisance. Weeds that have been introduced to Central Washington in the past have totally changed the landscape and natural ecosystem. Noxious weeds are spreading at an alarming rate and seriously threatening rangelands, forests, wetlands, and croplands. Weeds displace native plants, reduce habitat for native animals, and threaten the diversity of wildlands. They spoil pastures and rangelands, alter soil fertility, dry up water supplies, poison animals, decrease agricultural production, clog rivers, and reduce the recreational value of wildlands.

Invasive species typically grow quickly and die during the hottest part of the summer. Dry weeds burn at high temperatures and wind can quickly spread a brush fire around your home. Sparks from cars, tools, cigarettes, or lightning can quickly lead to devastating fires. Establishing a weed-free buffer around your home reduces fire danger.

What Is A Noxious Weed?
Noxious weeds are nonnative plants that have been introduced to Washington through human actions. Because of their aggressive growth and lack of natural enemies in North America, these species are highly destructive, competitive, and difficult to control. "Noxious" is a legal designation, determined by
a weed's potential threat ecologically, socially or economically. Landowners are legally required to control noxious weeds on their land and to prevent seed formation and infestation of adjacent lands.

For information on identifying noxious weeds and controlling them on your property, visit the Chelan County Noxious Weed Control Board website or call 509-667-6550

Using an integrated approach to controlling weeds is generally most successful. An integrated approach includes using all methods of control when feasible. These include: mechanical, cultural, chemical, and biological.

The most productive and cost effective approach to controlling weeds is learning how to recognize and eliminate weeds before they become established:

  • Control weeds on your property by removing and replanting.
  • Do not plant invasive weeds.
  • Walk on established trails and remove plant material from your shoes and clothing before and after hiking. u Don’t pick the flowers of noxious weeds and take them home.
  • Keep vehicles out of weed patches and check for clinging weeds before leaving an area.
  • Keep pets and pack animals out of weed patches.
  • Feed pack animals processed food pellets before and during backcountry trips to avoid transporting seed in animal feces.
  • Pack animals should be brushed and their hooves cleaned to eliminate weed seeds.
  • Check watercraft and trailer for clinging aquatic weeds.
  • Volunteer to pull weeds on local trails and roads.

For information on identifying noxious weeds and controlling them on your property, visit the Chelan County Noxious Weed Control Board website or call 509-667-6550