Noxious weed alert: Giant hogweed spotted in Virginia

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 19, 2018

"In some cases, a giant hogweed infestation is best controlled using several different methods in combination or in succession - in other words, a two, three, or even four-pronged attack plan", explains the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC).

"Do not mow, cut or weed whack the plant, as it will just send up new growth and put you at risk for being exposed to sap - the same kind of thing that would happen with poison ivy or sumac".

In Ohio, giant hogweed is typically found in northeast Ohio, especially in counties bordering Pennsylvania.

Blindness can occur if the sap manages to get into the eyes. The Massey Herbarium said it appeared the previous landowner planted the giant hogweed at the site for ornamental reasons. The VT said about 30 of the large flowering plants were found.

So far, there has been just one confirmed sighting of Giant Hogweed - in Clarke County, Virginia, but the risky plant also grows in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and ME, according to CBS.

There have been no other reports of giant hogweed in Clarke County, but people should be on the lookout and call the Virginia Cooperative Extension or the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to report a possible sighting, Sutphin said.

What ScienceAlert calls a "giant horror plant" has made its way to yet another USA state, and people who come in contact with it could feel the pain.

Giant hogweed plants can grow up to 14 feet tall, with hollow stems that have dark red and purple blotches.

The risky plant also grows in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Metzgar said that if anyone makes contact with giant hogweed, the victim should wash the sap off of the skin with cold water and soap.

If you think you've been burned by a reaction after coming into contact, see a physician immediately.

These pesky plants spread when birds and waterways carry seeds to new locations.

The New York State Department of Health also recommends applying sunscreen to the affected areas, since this can prevent further reactions if you're stuck outside.

Giant hogweed also produces thousands of dry, flat, oval seeds, which are about 3/8 of an inch long and have brown lines on them. Seek advice from professional plant control specialists about management options.

Knowing what to look for and how to handle it could help you avoid a serious injury.

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