Understanding Noxious Weed Controls
Weed Control Act
There are many noxious weeds found in Alberta and many have beautiful flowers; however, they are a serious concern in Alberta and must be controlled as required under the Alberta Weed Control Act. It is a requirement of the province of Alberta to stop the growth and spread of noxious weeds due to their destructive behaviours and if the weed inspectors find them on your property you will be requested to take care of them.
Weed inspectors are outsourced by the Town of Black Diamond yearly to spend a few months during the summer to find noxious and restricted weeks throughout the entire town. This includes private residences. If the inspectors find these weeds on your property, in accordance with the weed control act the inspector will issue a notice for compliance and follow up.
- Familiarize yourself with the plants found on the Noxious Weeds List; 2017 Weed Identification Guide
- Monitor your property regularly for noxious plants.
- Ensure you do not allow noxious and prohibited noxious weeds to grow or flower on your property. Control weeds early.
- Prevent the spread of weed seeds by limiting the movement of contaminated hay, wood chips, gravel, manure and soil. One of the most common methods of moving weed seed is contaminated mud that gets tracked on your vehicle.
- Do not plant wild flower seed mixes - these are most often contaminated with noxious weeds.
How to Help Control Weeds:
There are four common control types for preventing and managing weeds
The easiest and cheapest way to control weeks is to prevent them from becoming established on your property.
2. Physical control
- Constantly monitor your land
- Keep grass healthy and vigorous
- Weed seedlings (be sure to make sure ALL pieces of plants are dispose of and there are no holes in the bag the seeds are disposed into. Put into bags immediately, do not let seeds drop and germinate, or burn them ensuring all safety standards are met)
- Minimize soil disturbance (avoid driving on grassy areas where possible)
- Brush your dogs before leaving an off leash area
The most common form is physical control and is very good for sensitive area such as around bodies of water
- digging out
- tilling/cultivation*****You must be careful with the type of physical control for some weeds as it may spread the infestation. It is always best to research the particular plant from the noxious weeds list and find out the best control for that plant*****
3. Chemical control
This type of control is relatively easy to do, usually kills the entire plant, and provides very effective control for most weeds. However, caution must be used around sensitive areas such as bodies of water, livestock/pets, and people with allergies or sensitivities.
Make sure to read the label carefully, as the chemical will only be effective on the plants listed, and when applied as per label directions. There are many different herbicides that affect different plant species, different plant stages, and are applied in different ways.
Most herbicides are not available to the general public, so if you have a large area or cannot find an herbicide through retail stores, you may have to hire a company with a licensed applicator to apply the herbicide for you.
4. Biological control (BIO-Control) (The town is excited to be using this option for leafy spurge)
Bio-control is a method that uses other living organisms to keep the specific weed species controlled. Often insects or fungi are used.
To reduce the risk of another invasive species spreading through Canada and risking more of our biodiversity, many years of research must be performed before biological controls are allowed to be released. The Town of Black Diamond is very excited to be introducing Bio-control this year to control leafy spurge. The black dot spurge beetle will be released in order to attack the plant.
More information can be found on the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry webpage regarding biological controls including how to obtain these controls for your property.