Noxious weeds are non-native, aggressive plants brought to the U.S. accidentally or on purpose. These plants are invading vast areas across the West, Deschutes County and the City of Bend. Noxious weeds increase soil erosion, reduce habitat for wildlife, rob native plants of water, nutrients and light and are potentially toxic to humans and other animals.
Noxious weeds are very difficult to control. There are no natural predators in our area to keep the weeds from spreading. Their seeds can remain viable for many years. The weeds have extensive root systems which can sprout after the tops have been removed, therefore controlling noxious weeds should be a priority of all property owners.
What Can You Do?
- Become familiar with local noxious weeds
- Report weed sightings to the City of Bend’s Code Enforcement Division
- Keep pets and other animals out of weeds and brush and remove seeds from the animal if they become attached to their hair
- Develop an integrated weed management plan for noxious weed on your property
Common Noxious Weeds in the City of Bend
|Spotted Knapweed||Russian Thistle||Puncturevine|
How Do I Control Noxious Weeds?
For small infestations, herbicides and pulling of the noxious weeds may be the most effective form of control. Herbicides can control new growth as well as prevent the spread of noxious weeds. The herbicides used to control noxious weeds are specific to each individual plant, therefore a certified commercial pesticide operator will need to be used to treat invasive species. The best time to spray noxious weeds is in the spring when the new plants are beginning to grow. When pulling the weeds, be sure to wear gloves, put the weeds into a plastic bag and dispose of at the Deschutes County Landfill. Do not dispose of the weeds in your compost! Please be aware that the process of using an herbicide and pulling weeds will require follow up each year. It often takes three or more years using the above techniques to completely eradicate noxious weeds.
There are other ways to control noxious weeds such as using biological controls, which are insects that attack the root systems of invasive weeds. This process can take several years to eradicate a medium to large infestation but could be used as an alternative to herbicides.
Goat and sheep grazing are another effective tool that can be used to control noxious weed infestations that are of a larger scale.
Integrated Weed ManagementIntegrated Weed Management (IWM) uses several different weed management practices to eradicate noxious weeds. IWM may include chemical, mechanical, and biological practices to suppress weeds. The suppression of noxious weeds may take several years to accomplish. Be persistent and be patient! Using herbicides on noxious weeds can be very effective. Herbicides are classified as selective and non-selective. Selective herbicides kill a specific plant while non-selective herbicides will kill all plants that have been sprayed. There are specific times in which the herbicide will be most effective. It may be most effective to spray weeds in early and late spring, fall and summer.
Mechanical control of noxious weeds can also be effective. Larger properties infested with weeds may need to employ mechanical and chemical means to eradicate weeds. However, the use of hand tools to pull weeds may be effective for small infestations. The take away is that there is no one, best practice to eradicate noxious weeds. IWM plans should incorporate each control method as is necessary to control noxious weeds.
Code Enforcement recognizes that it may take several years to eradicate noxious weeds. If a property owner has been sent a notice of violation, Code Enforcement will require an IWM plan stating what steps will be taken to rid the property of weeds. The IWM plan will bring the property into compliance and will be monitored by Code Enforcement each year until the weeds have been eradicated.
Invasive Noxious Weed Code
• No person shall allow the growth of noxious vegetation on the property they own within the Bend City limits.
• Property owners are responsible for the removal of noxious vegetation on public rights-of-way adjacent to their property, excluding medians and roundabouts.
• A violation of this section is a Class A civil infraction.
• Maximum penalty is $750 a day per lot.
Please see the City's Nuisance Ordinance for additional information regarding nuisances such as flammable vegetation, noxious weeds, trash, and others.
For more information on Noxious Weeds or to make a complaint, please contact Julie Craig at (541) 388-5527, email email@example.com or submit a Code Enforcement Complaint Form.
The City of Bend uses Deschutes County’s weed list for enforcement and can be found here.
Montana Weed Control Association - How to control noxious weeds and create an invasive weed management plan
Invasive weeds cost Oregon millions - video
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a fantastic website explaining the different control methods for Spotted Knapweed. Please click here for a link to their website.
Detailed information about diffuse and spotted knapweed
Interesting information about spotted knapweed from the PBS program, Nature. Beginning at the 28:05 minute mark and ending at 35:50
Orange Hawkweed in Bend and Deschutes County-Video