State urges fall attack on noxious weeds

Jeffrey Pettingill

Roger Batt

MERIDIAN — Fall is the perfect time for landowners to take aggressive action to help eradicate several varieties of Idaho’s most tenacious species of perennial noxious weeds, and the chairman of the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign advisory committee is calling on residents to help in the battle.

“It may seem counterintuitive, but fall applications of herbicides have proven to be very effective against perennial noxious weeds such as poison hemlock, leafy spurge, field bindweed, Canada thistle, spotted and Russian knapweed and Dalmatian and yellow toadflax,” said Jeffrey Pettingill, Bonneville County weed superintendent.

“There are several different commercial herbicides on the market such as Tordon 22K®, Method and Milestone, which when used properly, have proven very successful in efforts to combating these and other weeds,” Pettingill said.

The key to effective treatment of noxious weeds with the herbicides is to carefully follow the exact mixing and application directions provided on the herbicide’s label.

For example, state weed officials say to use 32 ounces of Tordon 22K per acre when treating leafy spurge, but just 7 ounces per acre of Method when treating rush skeletonweed, knapweeds and thistles. In noncrop and nongrazed sites, Method (the old Perspective) at a 10-ounce rate is a great option.

“For more information about Idaho’s noxious weeds and the best management strategies on how to get rid of them residents and landowners should visit the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign’s website at: The website is packed with information and interactive features including color pictures of Idaho’s noxious weeds, audio, video and panoramas, plus in-depth information about how to control or deal with the different species of Idaho’s noxious weeds,” said Roger Batt, coordinator of the Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign.

“It is crucial that we continue to attack invasive noxious weeds at every opportunity. Invasive weeds are a very serious threat to Idaho’s economy, ecology and agriculture and cause an estimated $300 million annually in damages,” Batt said. “State and private landowners annually spend more than $25 million to combat noxious weeds, but still Idaho loses control of hundreds of acres of land every day to the 67 varieties of noxious weeds known to have infested the state.”