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How to Reduce a Water Hyacinth


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Water hyacinths provide beautiful blooms, but also present many problems. The water hyacinth is fast-growing, which can quickly cause navigation issues for boats and other water vehicles. Because of its fast growth speed, water hyacinth can soon take over an entire lake or pond. There are several methods available to control and reduce the amount of water hyacinth plants in a body of water.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Diquat
  • Pond rake
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wading boots
  • Trash bags
  • Sameodes albiguttalis moths
  • Neochetina spp weevils
  • Rope
  • Liquid sprayer
  • Goggles
  • Respirator mask
    1. Thin the hyacinth plants with a pond rake. Wear rubber gloves and wading boots as this task may get very wet and messy. Tie a long rope to the end of a pond rake and throw it into the water. Draw the rake back, tugging if necessary to loosen the water hyacinth roots. Take the plants off the rake and discard them in trash bags to be taken off site where they will not be able to re-establish.
    2. Apply an aquatic herbicide such as diquat. Use herbicide if the water area you are trying to clear is larger than a small pond. The herbicide can also work in conjunction with the manual removal of the water hyacinth plant. Once the plants are removed, add the herbicide to reduce further growth. For a large body of water, spray the herbicide directly onto the plants. A boat may be necessary to reach all areas of a large body of water.
    3. Introduce predator insects. Check with your local government first to see if it is permissible to introduce certain kinds of predator insects to attack the water hyacinths. In Florida, Louisiana and Washington, two weevil species (Neochetina spp.) and a moth (Sameodes albiguttalis) are used to control reproduction of the water hyacinth plant. Few companies sell these particular bugs, but many stores will try to acquire the bugs if there is interest for them. Once obtained, release into the pond or lake. It is likely that the bugs will spread to other plants nearby, so only use these bugs as a reduction method if absolutely necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear gloves and a mask when working with chemicals.

  • Never release new bugs into the environment without first checking the environmental laws for the area.

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