COQUITLAM, B.C., May 19, 2021 – Controlling invasive species, including giant hogweed, is a priority in Coquitlam as they pose a threat to the natural ecosystem and human health.
During Invasive Species Action Month in May, Coquitlam is raising awareness of invasive plants such as English ivy, giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberry, periwinkle, morning glory and yellow lamium. These plants can take over the natural environment, pushing out native plants and degrading habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife.
Because these plants grow aggressively, adapt to different situations and are persistent in their spread, they are expensive to control and eradicate.
How Can You Help?
- Contain or remove invasive plants on your property to prevent them from spreading.
- Never dump garden waste or hanging baskets into parks or natural areas.
- Dispose of invasive plant material in your green cart with the exception of giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed. The sap and stem of giant hogweed can cause burns, and the knotweed requires chemical treatment. It is best to let a professional deal with these species.
- Learn how to identify Coquitlam’s common invasive plants and avoid planting or buying them by visiting www.coquitlam.ca/badseed.
- Be aware of Coquitlam’s pesticide use control bylaw and the substances that are restricted by visiting www.coquitlam.ca/pesticides.
- Clean your boots and shoes to get rid of ‘hitchhiking’ weed seeds before you hike in a new area to prevent these species from spreading.
Giant hogweed is a particular problem as it can cause injury to people. The sap contained in the hairs covering the plant and on the stem can cause severe burns if they come in contact with human skin. Growing to heights of up to 5.5m, giant hogweed can be identified by its white flower blooms and the stiff white hairs that cover most of the plant.
City staff monitor public lands for any signs of giant hogweed and ask residents to eliminate it from their properties. Visit www.coquitlam.ca/reporthogweed to report a giant hogweed sighting in Coquitlam.
Visit www.coquitlam.ca/badseed to learn more about how to identify these invasive species and how to remove them, including hogweed and knotweed, from your property.
Urban Forestry and Park Services Manager
City of Coquitlam