The Most Pervasive Problems in Aquatic Weed Control

Common Salvinia, Common Water Hyacinth, Purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil are some of the most pervasive problems with aquatic weeds. To learn more about these plants, read our previous articles: Common Salvinia, Purple loosestrife, and Eurasian watermilfoil. We also cover how to control aquatic weeds like the service offered by aquatic weed control Florida, as well as tips on how to keep them under control.

Common Salvinia

Common Salvinia, commonly known as giant Azolla, is a weed that can invade aquatic habitats worldwide. Its leaves vary from green to gold and can reach two inches in length. Unlike many other plants, it does not have a seasonal pattern, although they may vary in growth during different seasons. It is best adapted to waters with low nutrient content and can rapidly take up nutrients if they become available.

Giant Salvinia is another invasive problem native to South America. It invades aquatic ecosystems by outgrowing native plants and depleting dissolved oxygen in water bodies. This free-floating plant can double its size in a week! It is complicated to control, so aquatic weed control professionals recommend preventing this invasive plant from invading your body of water.

Common Water Hyacinth

The invasive water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is one of the world’s most damaging and pervasive aquatic weeds. Its rapid growth and efficient survival strategies have negatively impacted the environment, ecosystems, human health, and socioeconomic development. Though various control strategies have been developed to address the proliferation of this plant, complete eradication remains difficult and expensive. The plant has a variety of uses and is currently being monitored for its effects on water bodies.

The most effective way to combat water hyacinth is prevention. While it can be controlled by hand raking, mechanical harvesting is the most effective method for large areas. Hand removal is another effective solution. The plant is manually raked to the shoreline or onto a boat in this method. However, its dense population can choke water flows and impede boating and other aquatic wildlife.

Purple loosestrife

One of the most persistent problems in aquatic weed control is purple loosestrife. This plant is highly prolific, producing millions of seeds per plant. Young plants produce only one stem, while mature plants can produce as many as 2.7 million seeds yearly. Purple loosestrife has thick, woody roots that can spread by wind and water. Its seedlings are tiny, about the size of grains of sand. Once they have sprouted, purple loosestrife can send out 30-50 shoots per plant. In addition, pieces of roots can be broken off to form new plants, making this a challenging species to control.

Seedling density decreases significantly within the parent plant’s 33 feet (10 m). Although this plant is invasive in lacustrine habitats, it is also entirely flooded tolerant once established. Because of its regenerative ability, it can persist even in the dryest locations. If the water is too shallow to eradicate the plant, it will take seedlings on a small portion of the surrounding soil.

Eurasian watermilfoil

This invasive species spread through lakes and rivers. It can affect the ecosystem and adversely affect recreational opportunities. Its rapid growth and dissemination make it one of the most challenging aquatic weeds to control. The plant attaches itself to boat hulls, propellers, and fishing gear and can be a nuisance to lake residents. Because it has few predatory seeds, the plant is difficult to eradicate.

Myriophyllum spicatum is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It was accidentally introduced into North America in the late 1800s and has since spread to 45 states and three Canadian provinces. It is now listed as a restricted plant in 17 states and is a major nuisance throughout the northern US. Mechanical harvesting of this plant produces stem fragments that are ideal for propagation.