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What is a WEED?

A variety of opinions abound on this subject.  Most consider a WEED to be any plant that is on either the Colorado Noxious Weed list or any plant on your land that you consider undesirable.

 

What is a NOXIOUS WEED?

Noxious weeds are plants that are NON-NATIVE to North America.  They have no natural predators and can easily become invasive.

The following comes from an Executive Order put forth by Governor Bill Owens:

"All land owners have a responsibility to plan and implement a coordinated program that utilizes a variety of integrated methods to manage noxious weeds, the purpose of which is to achieve desirable plant communities."

It is KEY for all landowners to realize the vigorous competition Noxious Weeds present to our native habitat.  Once some of these more tenacious perennials have established themselves, it can take years of vigilant efforts to bring them into check.

 

Why should I control my NOXIOUS WEEDS?

There are several reasons we need to control noxious weeds:

Colorado has a WEED LAW which mandates eradication, control and suppression of a variety of Noxious Weeds that thrive in Colorado
Noxious Weeds lessen the productivity and graze ability of your land
Left unchecked, Noxious Weeds can rapidly choke out other plants becoming a monoculture and keeping native plants and grasses from populating your land

 
ďIt is currently estimated that more than 43 million acres (65%) of Coloradoís 66 million acres of public and private lands are deemed by local weed management professionals to be, on average, in less than adequate compliance or cooperation with local weed management efforts.Ē

(Source: Report to the Colorado General Assembly by Eric Lane, State Weed Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Agriculture.)
 

Noxious Weed infestations impact agriculture; land values; wildlife grazing habitat; native threatened and endangered species; recreation and tourism.

Follow this link to the Colorado State Weed List for more information.

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How much will Weed Control Cost?

It is difficult to say as each infestation and property site varies.  The type of application required will be based on a variety of issues:

Location

Terrain

Target Weed/s

If Water is Present, etc.

The greatest factor in determining costs is the target weed and subsequent chemical
necessary to control it. The chemistry developed to selectively control specific weeds varies as does the effect those chemicals will have on the target plants.  Some of the more common modes of action inhibit photosynthesis and growth.  Therefore as you can see, an accurate assessment of a variety of issues will determine the costs of control.

 

What time of year is best to control Pest?

There are such a wide variety of pests all of which need to be treated at various times throughout the year.  Please visit our Control Schedule  to determine what the best times of year are for a number of different pests.  Keep in mind that the dates listed may vary based on weather and physical location of the infestation.

 

How are Noxious Weeds controlled?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is common strategy in developing methods of control.  IPM may consist of one or multiple accepted methods of Biological, Chemical, Mechanical and Cultural controls.  We can assist you by making recommendations on all methods.  We conduct inspections, write management plans, and conduct Chemical and occasionally Biological control methods.

Be advised that CHEMICAL WEED CONTROL is the most commonly used and most effective method of weed control.  We understand that it is also controversial; subsequently we are sensitive to community/environmental impact.

We take our chemical treatments very seriously maintaining our licenses through attending numerous continuing education programs and by keeping up to date on the latest products and Rules/Regulations as administered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

We select only those herbicides and insecticides that will effectively target the pests you have hired us to control ensuring no damage to grasses and desirable vegetation.

 

How did these Noxious Weeds get on my land?

There are a wide variety of ways this might happen:

There might be a seed bank in the soil Ė some Noxious Weed seeds can remain viable in the soil for 2-15 years and disturbing the soil may well cause these seeds to germinate
Climate conditions may trigger seeds which have been dormant
Not utilizing Weed-Free Certified Feed (Hay) by you or your neighbors
Wind, Birds and Animals may carry or drop seed on your land
Weed seeds may be transported by vehicle/trailer tires, clothing, shoes and even pet fur
In an effort to reduce the spread of seeds, VMI is diligent about washing off all of our equipment and shoes after making an application at every site

 

Iím taking care of my weeds and my neighbors are not, what can I do?

Contact your local County Weed and Pest Department to find out more about your potential courses of action.

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What can I do to help in stopping the spread of Noxious Weeds?

Become educated and learn to identify both native and non-native plants   

Visit our Resources page to learn more as well as our Affiliations/Links page for links to other informative sites

Inspect your property and know what is growing on your land
Hire only qualified and licensed professionals to assist you with your vegetation management needs
Donít pick wildflowers or noxious weeds and try not to walk or drive through infested areas.  Seeds are hitchhikers Ė the spread of seeds may be responsible for future infestations
Be aware of the ornamental plants that you purchase and plant on your property as many of the weeds that we consider noxious today are escaped ornamentals

 

Will one application get rid of my Noxious Weeds?

Highly unlikely.  Weed Management professionals agree and advise that in order to control noxious weeds it will require multiple treatments.  It is important to develop multiple year plans especially on infestations that have been present for years.  While a one time treatment may be effective in reducing a population, annual inspection and maintenance is key.  Not doing so may result in wasted dollars from your initial treatment investment. 

Our Certified Professionals will develop a plan to ensure the proper herbicide is applied to the targeted pests.  We always follow recommended rates of application and will not reduce rates in an effort to save you a few dollars as doing so will cost you far more in controlling your noxious weeds in the long run.  It is important to recognize that developing a watchful management plan is imperative to effectiveness.

 

Are the chemicals you use harmful?

The chemicals we use have been tested for years and would not be allowed on the market were they not safe.  We read each label at least 5 times before and after using the chemical to ensure we are following all of the guidelines put forth by those labels.

It is our policy that any chemical classified as a known or probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, National Toxicology Program or the International Agency for Cancer Research, will not be used.  

Most literature about chemicals is quite technical.  Click on either the EXTOXNET link to visit Oregon State Universities database of pesticide toxicology information or the EPA web page link for general pesticide information.

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What is a pesticide?

A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.


Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests.
 

If chemicals are safe, why then do you place a Warning sign on my property after performing a chemical application?

These markers are not warning signs.  In compliance with the Pesticide Applicators' Act, we are required to notify and post any time we make a pesticide application in any turf or ornamental category.  We will post on all of our jobs so that our clients and their neighbors may take whatever precautions they feel are necessary, should they be concerned about contact with pesticides.  We advise our customers to keep family and pets off treated areas until the application has dried or as the label suggests.

 

How toxic are the products you use?

The products we use generally contain the same active ingredients that are found in most of the garden products you can purchase at retail garden and hardware stores.  The difference is most products sold at these outlets are meant to be applied directly and products we use are in much larger quantities to be diluted to various strengths depending on the target pest.

The large majority of the products we use contain a "Caution" label.  Caution refers to products of relatively low toxicity and those that are comparatively free from health hazards.  Acute Toxicity is measured in LD-50 (This figure is the dose that is lethal to 50% of animals).  The higher the LD-50 number, the safer the product.  See the table below for a few examples.

 

Household
Products

 LD-50

Chemical
Products

LD-50

Nicotine

50

Sevin, Carbaryl

500-850

Caffeine

192

2, 4-D

375-805

Aspirin

1000

Round-up

4300-5400

Vitamin A

2000

Banvel, Dicamba

1040-1700

Table Salt

3000

Malathion

1000-1375

 

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