Driving home from a weekend in the outdoors, an Idaho family
stops to pick what they think are pretty white wildflowers
growing near the roadside. On the way home, the white flowers,
which are actually the noxious weed Perennial Pepperweed,
wilt and 100 miles down the road end up being tossed into
That innocent act has just introduced this highly invasive
noxious weed into a new area, accelerating its spread.
Noxious weeds pose a serious threat to Idahos economy,
ecology and agriculture, causing the state some $300 million
annually in damage. Noxious weeds displace native vegetation
and rob animals of their food supply.
They proliferate from seeds carried by the wind, weather,
animals and unintentionally by Idahos citizens and visitors.
An alarming number of noxious weeds will be among the first
plants to flower this spring, adding a new color to the rainbow
of native wildflowers that adorn the countryside.
The best way to control noxious weeds is to stop them from
spreading. While it is not always possible to keep weed seeds
from drifting down rivers, floating in the wind or hitching
rides on wildlife, it is possible to prevent their unintended
spread by humans.
Experts say there are five simple suggestions on how individuals
can help stop the spread of noxious weeds to new areas: