Weed and Pest Management

Very simply, a weed is any plant that is growing where it is unwanted and where it is in competition with cultivated plants. So it’s not surprising that weeds vary around the world. Bamboo – sold across Canada as a lucky gift – is an invasive weed that can quickly take over landscapes. Similarly with some types of Wisteria. This beautiful vine is popular on arbors in some warmer climates in Canada, but further south in the United States it has grown out of control in some areas.

The Town of Strathmore Operations Team prioritizes work to control noxious and prohibited weeds. We monitor parks and green spaces for invasive species, and take action when we identify these plants. Dandelions may be the weed you notice the most, but keeping people, pets, and property safe is our first priority! There are 75 species of non-native plants specified in the Alberta Weed Control Act. They present risks of spreading and causing significant economic or ecological damage. These plants include some that may be toxic or parasitic to other plants, such as Red Bartsia, Knapweed, and Garlic Mustard. Hoary Alyssum, Knotweed, Puncturevine, and others are toxic to pets, livestock, and other animals. Some are dangerous to humans. Black Henbane is toxic, and Hogweed can cause extremely painful rashes and blisters from any skin contact.

The Alberta Government proclaimed the current Weed Control Act in 2010. The Act focuses on noxious or prohibited noxious weeds that are a threat to Alberta’s economy, environment, and society. Noxious weeds must be controlled – meaning that they are permitted in a garden but cannot be allowed to spread from that area. Prohibited noxious weeds are not permitted to be cultivated and must be destroyed.

More information on provincially regulated weeds is available at:

Alberta.ca/provincially-regulated-weeds.aspx


 Dandelions

Dandelions, while a nuisance, don’t cause property damage. We prioritize weed control on noxious and prohibited weeds that can cause property damage or are potentially unsafe in our community. Dandelions are also almost everywhere and capable of quickly spreading.
Our long-term strategy is to improve the health of our turf and other green spaces, however, where dandelions reach a predetermined threshold the Town will spray for this weed in our Class A and B parks. Our Operations Team has been applying top dressing and fertilizer to Town green spaces. A healthy lawn or garden is a better defence against dandelions. We’ll be sharing more information about noxious and prohibited weeds on our social media pages, including facts, with tips on how to control their spread in your areas.


 Black Henbane

Black Henbane is a toxic plant. Cattle and other animals are susceptible to it, and it can cause tachycardia (very rapid heartbeat), convulsions, vomiting, hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperpyrexia (extreme fever), and other effects in humans. In Medieval times henbane was purportedly used by witches to allow them to fly – please don’t try this.

Black Henbane is from the genus Hyoscyamus, which is from the family Solanaceae. Many of the plants of Solanaceae contain alkaloid chemicals, which is one of the compounds that makes Black Henbane toxic to humans.

Black Henbane has spread across much of the world, so there are other names for this plant: Hog’s-bean, Stinking Nightshade, and Devil’s Eyes.

Getting rid of it:

Preventing its establishment in an area is the most effective way to control Black Henbane. Each mature plant is capable of producing thousands of seeds for dispersal. The Town of Strathmore Parks Team is trained to identify Black Henbane. Once identified, each plant is individually bagged and removed, then burned to eliminate seed dispersal. Our crews monitor the area to eliminate other Black Henbane plants that may also be localized. Several horticultural and government bodies recommend mowing as an effective control as well.


Invasive Fish Species

For information on invasive fish species click here. 

You can also visit the government of Alberta website:

https://www.alberta.ca/invasive-fish-species.aspx

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