Noxious weeds are non-native, aggressive plants brought to the U.S. accidentally or intentionally. These plants are invading vast areas across the West.
Noxious weeds are very difficult to control. Our area has no natural predators to keep the weeds from spreading. Their seeds can remain viable for many years. The weeds have extensive root systems that can sprout after the tops have been removed; therefore, all property owners should prioritize controlling noxious weeds.
What Can You Do?
- Become familiar with local noxious weeds
- Report weed sightings to the City of Bend’s Code Enforcement Division
- Keep pets and other animals out of weeds and brush and remove seeds from the animal if they become attached to their hair
- Develop an integrated weed management plan for noxious weeds on your property
A weed is designated noxious when it is considered by a governmental agency to be injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, or property (Oregon Administrative Law 603-052-1200). Most noxious weeds are non-native plants that are serious pests causing economic loss and harm the environment. Noxious weeds choke out crops, destroy range and pasture lands, clog waterways, affect human and animal health, and threaten native plant communities.
The main difference between noxious and invasive weeds is that noxious weeds grow out of places and they are competitive, persistent, and pernicious, whereas invasive weeds are plants that are not native to a particular environment.
The Noxious Weed Control Program administers and provides technical expertise to the Oregon State Weed Board Grant Program. Landowners or managers fighting noxious weeds are encouraged to visit the grant program website.
Try talking to your neighbors first to explain the importance of controlling weeds. Depending on where you live, there may be local programs that mandate the control of noxious weeds on private property. Homeowner associations can direct weed control to their members. Some local government entities have codes or regulations that mandate weed control. Noxious Weed Control Districts or Weed Management Areas can help your neighbors control their weeds by education and outreach, land management strategies, and/or funding. Weed control is everybody’s business.
Most of Oregon’s least desirable weeds are of Mediterranean, European, and Asian origin. The introduction of non-native invasive plants has increased dramatically in the past decade because of the increased ease and speed of world travel and the expansion of global commerce. Local spread of noxious weeds can be natural by wind, water, and animals; but human activities such as, recreation, vehicle travel, and the movement of contaminated equipment, products, and livestock often greatly increase the distance and rate of dispersal.
Review the Noxious Weed Control Program’s state noxious weed list and program site. Noxious weed lists for other states can be found on the National Plant Board Laws and Regulations website.