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Herald staff | needtoknow@heraldnet.com
Published: Sunday, June 5, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Noxious weeds are a costly problem

They can be pretty and exotic but they can also be very hard to kill.

Noxious weeds crop up in Snohomish County wherever they can grow. It does not matter if it's a wetland, chicken farm, a roadside or your garden.

The Snohomish County Noxious Weed Control Board is the one responsible for removing the plants. It employs two people full time and has four seasonal workers.

They have been successful in removing and eliminating some species sometimes. They have been only able to keep others at bay.

Snohomish County last year spent about $250,000 to spray, remove and bag noxious weeds.
Some of the plants got their ticket to Snohomish County because of their beauty.

They can add panache to a yard, but problems arise when the plants go to seed. They also do not like sharing space or food with local plants.

"They may behave in your garden, but not in the wild," weed board coordinator Sonny Gohrman said.

The board keeps a list of what it considers noxious weeds. The list can change from year to year. Currently, there are about 100 species listed and 34 are confirmed to be in the county.

A list of the plants can be found on the control board's website.

If you believe you have found a noxious weed, call the noxious weed control board at (360) 435-7830 to report the location.

Sometimes, a homeowner can dispose of the weed, but not all weeds can be handled the same way. If disposed of improperly, the weeds can spread. To learn more visit the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board at www.nwcb.wa.gov.

Herbicides can be tempting to control noxious weeds, but Gohrman says they vary in effectiveness depending on the season, and location. Gohrman urges people to call him first to ensure the chemical will do the job and not cause more harm.

King County's website also is a good place for information on noxious weeds.

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