May 10, 2019 Return to Headlines

Help Rid Coquitlam of Invasive Species

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC May 10, 2019 – The City of Coquitlam has made the control of invasive species, including Giant Hogweed, a priority due to the threat they pose to the natural ecosystem and human health.

Invasive plants such as English Ivy, Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, Periwinkle, Morning Glory and Yellow Lamium can take over the natural environment pushing out native plants and reducing 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 can be expensive to control and eradicate.

How Can Residents Help?

  • 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 controls and the substances that are restricted by visiting www.coquitlam.ca/pesticides.
  • 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. The sap and stem of Giant Hogweed can cause burns and it is best to let a professional remove this plant. Please visit Metro Vancouver's Waste Wizard for the most up-to-date information.
  • Clean your boots and shoes to get rid of ‘hitchhiking’ weed seeds before you hike in a new area to prevent these species spreading.

Volunteer Opportunities
May is Invasive Species Awareness month and you can volunteer to participate in local weed pull events to help remove invasive plants by regularly checking out opportunities at www.coquitlam.ca/badseed.

Giant Hogweed
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 monitors 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, from your property, as well as find out about upcoming volunteering opportunities to remove plants from our public green spaces.

Media Contact:
Caresse Selk
Urban Forestry and Park Services Manager