is affected by weeds, either directly or indirectly. It may be through
an increase in the cost of food or electrical power, or by getting stuck
by burrs and thistles as you walk home. However weeds impact you, it's
only going to get worse. The following are just a few examples of how
you may be affected in the future:
Human Health: Over 50 million people are affected by allergies,
a large number of which are caused by weeds. Hospitalization and death
have occurred due to weeds (poison hemlock, bitter nightshade, poison
ivy/oak, blue spurge). Recreation: A number of recreation activities
are impacted by weeds. A few of these are: boating, swimming (e.g. hydrilla),
fishing (e.g. scotch thistle), hunting, equestrian, hiking (e.g. yellow
starthistle), mountain biking, and rock climbing (e.g. puncture vine,
Weeds make you pay, either directly or indirectly.
Transportation: Millions of dollars are
spent each year to control weeds around highways, railroads, and airports.
Weeds cause asphalt breakup, visibility problems, and increase fire risk.
Industrial/Utility Sites: Weeds impede
access, increase fire danger, and in some cases cause physical damage
to structures and telephone/power lines (e.g. kudzu).
Drainage/Sewer Lines: Root systems clog and break pipes.
Property Values: Property that has noxious weeds on it can drop in value
(due to future management costs). Some ranch and farm lands have become
close to worthless in value.
Impacts on the environment affect us indirectly.
Fire Hazard: Weeds cause range and wildland wildfires to increase
in speed, intensity, and frequency. Rural and suburban homes will be affected.
Weed-choked vacant lots also increase fire risk (cheatgrass, medusahead,
kochia). Watershed: Increased runoff causes flooding. Increased
erosion and siltation impacts aquatic life and affects your drinking water
(spotted knapweed, leafy spurge).
Species Diversity: Weeds often force out native plants. Wildlife
are forced to leave or die due to the loss of their food source and shelter.
What can you do