April 17, 2000
King County residents reminded to control noxious weeds
The King County Weed Control Program has begun its annual county survey. Noxious Weed Specialists will be contacting county landowners with noxious weeds on their properties to remind them to control those weeds.
The County's Noxious Weed Control Program focuses on education, prevention, technical assistance, and control of noxious weeds through voluntary compliance.
Noxious weeds that are now visibly growing in the county and must be controlled include:
Noxious weeds are non-native plants without natural predators that quickly become invasive and create health or environmental hazards, or can impact agricultural crops. They are difficult to eradicate and become increasingly expensive and time-consuming to control if action is delayed.
- Giant Hogweed, which can cause serious blisters and skin discoloration, and should be handled with utmost care;
- Gorse is covered with sharp spiny leaves and is also a fire hazard;
- Diffuse Knapweed and Spotted Knapweed are becoming increasingly invasive in open pastures, and aggressive control is needed to stop these weeds before they become widespread; and
- Tansy Ragwort, which while still in the smaller, rosette stage, can be toxic to cows and horses if ingested.
Noxious weeds can remain a problem for years after initial removal, and it may be necessary to repeat control efforts, sometimes within the same season.
For information and assistance in combating noxious weed infestations in King County, call the King County Noxious Weed Control Program at 206-296-0290. Information and pictures of various noxious weeds are also available on the Web at http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/LANDS/weedid.htm.