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Tips and Tricks on Using Aquatic Herbicides

Aquatic weeds are actually beneficial to your pond, providing many benefits such as natural filtration, food and habitat for fish. However, when aquatic weeds grow in excessively large amounts they can be more than just an eyesore. Lack of treating these weeds can result in them becoming a nuisance. Aquatic weeds have been known to disrupt boat access and often gets in the way of fun recreational activities like swimming and fishing. Effectively managing growth before it gets out of control will prevent weeds from taking over your pond and making it look unattractive.

Here at Solutions Pest and Lawn we can help you to figure out how to tackle your aquatic weed issue using our professional-grade products. We carry the best products on the market when it comes to controlling weeds that are in your ponds and other bodies of water. Also as a supplement to our products, we have free helpful guides on how to apply and properly use the aquatic herbicide products we carry. On top of that, we also have customer service experts who are standing by to help you whenever you need it. For dealing with aquatic herbicides and the weeds that they treat, it’s best to have little knowledge before taking action. 

aquatic weedsHow To Get Rid Of Aquatic Weeds Using Aquatic Herbicides: 4 Step Solution

Removing aquatic weeds doesn't have to be such a big hassle when you know the right techniques and have the right tools at your disposal to conveniently streamline the process. That's where we can help by sharing with you our simple to execute 4 Step Solution and giving you our top recommendations of aquatic herbicides that will get the job done. Follow these directions and you will have your pond or lake back the way you want it.

 

Step One: Identify The Problem Weed. Aquatic Weeds can be separated into three groups. These include floating weeds, submerged weeds and emergent weeds. We have a detailed guide on aquatic weed treatment in our Knowledgebase that you can check out or you can contact us at identification@solutionsstores.com and send us a photo of the problem weed and we can both identify it and give you the proper instruction to remove the weed.

 

Step Two: Once you’ve identified the target weed the next step is to select the treatmentmethod to manage the growth. Liquid herbicides like Diquat, Ecotriclopyr 3 SL and Fluridone are a great solution because they attack weed growth in shallow water on or above the ponds surface and can be spread evenly with a pump sprayer.

 

Granular herbicides like Cutrine Plus are best utilized when weeds are submerged as blankets under the water surface, in deep areas of the pond or in ponds with flowing water. These heavier granules can be applied with a hand spreader and will sink directly onto the weed beds.

 

Step Three: Apply the herbicide of your choosing to your pond during ideal temperatures. Depending on the size of your pond, you may need to treat the pond in sections, waiting 2 weeks between treatments until you’ve treated the entire pond. There is a more detailed guide on applying weeds in our Knowledgebase.


Step Four: Prevention. Regularly monitor your body of water for any issues and apply your control products as needed. Make sure your pond is getting adequate attention so weeds do not creep back up.

For assistance when selecting the best herbicide for your pond it may be helpful to refer to our online DIY guides by navigating to our knowledge base or contact us directly via email at askapro@solutionsstores.com or calling our customer service line at 1(800) 479-6583.

 

Learn More About Aquatic Weeds

aquatic weeds

Aquatic weeds provide many benefits for your pond such as natural filtration as well as serving as food and habitat for fish. However, excessive growth of aquatic weeds in significantly large amounts can end up being more than just something unpleasant to look at.

 

Aquatic weeds that are left untreated can end up becoming quite an irritating annoyance. Aquatic weeds can disrupt boat access and often interferes with fun recreational water activities like swimming and fishing.

 

Effectively managing pondweed growth before the aquatic weeds grow to unmanageable levels will prevent aquatic weeds overtaking your pond and making it look ugly.

 

Solutions Pest & Lawn can help you to figure out how to tackle pondweeds with our free helpful aquatic weed control guides that are a great resource to use alongside our aquatic herbicide products.

 

For dealing with aquatic weeds it is first best to arm yourself with knowledge of various pondweeds before arming yourself with aquatic herbicides.

 

Step 1 Identify the Problem Pondweed

 

Once an aquatic plant problem is detected it’s important to address it quickly.  The first step towards controlling aquatic vegetation it is to correctly identify the plan that is causing the problem and understand its growth habit.

 

Most aquatic plants can be placed into five different categories based on their growth habit These include: filamentous algae, planktonic plants, floating weeds, floating leaved weeds, submerged weeds and emergent weeds.

 

Algae

Known by other names such as pond scum, slime or moss, filamentous algae are simple rootless plants consisting of clusters of filaments. Filamentous algae can appear stringy or cottony when held in your hand.

 

Algae can be found growing on the bottom or on objects or as floating mats. Filamentous algae can become a problem very quickly, especially as a the water warms in the spring.

 

You can learn more about algae on our algae main category page.

 

There are various types of algae you can come across in a pond. The most commons ones we will describe below:

Filamentous AlgaeFilamentous algae 

Filamentous algae describes algae that resembles the texture of hair and can be either found on the very bottom of the pound or on rocks. What happens with filamentous algae is that the filaments will break away from where they are covered and float on the surface of a pond or body of water forming a large unsightly mat.

 

Planktonic PlantPlanktonic Plants

Planktonic plants are microscopic and free-floating in the water column or on the surface. Phytoplankton is a microscopic green algae which is the base of the food chain in fish boards. Blue-green algae, another type of planktonic algae often resembles pain on the water surface. It can be bright green to milky blue and may turn white when it is dying.

 

Often the clearest sign that you have planktonic algae is when your water changes color to a more soupy green hue.

 

CharaChara

Chara is another type of pond algae which can grow on the bottom of the pond in large clusters and is regularly mistaken or confused as a weed. Chara doesn’t grow above water and has a musky order and feels crunchy when put in the hand.

 

OscillatoriaOscillatoria

A type of filamentous algae, oscillatoria is commonly described as a black algae or blue-green algae. This type of algae, wherever it is plentiful can turn the color of your pond water into a reddish-purple hue.

Floating Weeds and Floating Leaved Plants

Floating weeds are those that float on the pond surface. These plants move freely around the pond with the wind. Most floating weeds multiply rapidly and can be difficult to control. Severe infestations can block sunlight from the pond and cause an oxygen depletion.

 

Floating leaved plants are rooted to the bottom with most of the leaves lying flat on the water surface. Some varieties have some rigidity and may have leaves that rise above the water surface. Each leaf usually has its own stem. These plants usually begin near the shore line and eventually creep out toward the middle of the pond.

 

There are a large number of different floating weeds that can emerge on ponds and lakes. Here are a few of the most common:

 

Large Leaf Pond WeedLarge Leaf Pond Weed

Large leaf pondweeds can be either floating or submerged in a pond. When they are submerged, they are large, wavy and have a tapered stem. Floating varieties are shaped like ovals, have clear leaf vains and rarely have stems

 

DuckweedDuckweed

This aquatic weed has leaves that are very small and conspicuous. On the underside of the leave there are small root hairs and there is not stem present. Duckweed is known to totally blanket a pond surface. It’s important to not mistake this weed with algae as can often happen.

 

BladderwortBladderwort

With fine leaves with a bladder like shape, the bladderwort has a stem with multiple branches and leafy tips. Bladderwort has yellow flowers that can poke out from the surface of the water.

 

Naiad

Naiad aquatic weeds are on the larger side which can grow up to three feet long. This rooted plant has numerous leaves and can grow small flowers on the leaves.

 

Submerged weeds

Submerged weeds are pondweeds that are rooted on the bottom of the pond and where the majority of the plant remains underwater due to their soft stem.

 

Curly Leaf Pond Weed

This pondweed has thin leaves that have serrated edges which are very fine. They have a branched stem with alternating leaves that are crispy and has a waxy look to them. Flowers from the curly leaf pond weed can poke out from the water on spikes.

 

CoontailCoontail

Containing leaves that whirl around the stem, coontail can be long or they can be bushy. The whorls of the stem can be crowded and has forked branches. Coontail looks similar to chara so they can be often confused for one another.

 

Water MilfoilWater Milfoil

Water milfoil emerge from dense, spreading roots. The leaves are arranged in whorls of 3 to 6 leaves.  The leaves are finely feather-divided, typically with 12 to 24 pairs of thread-like leaflets on each leaf.



Emergent weeds

An emergent plant is primarily above the water surface and can support itself. Sometimes they are completely out of the water growing in moist soil. These pondweeds are usually restricted to the shoreline but may extend into the pond if the margins are shallow. Some species of emergent weeds have buoyant stems that can form large mats.

 

Water LiliesWater Lilies

Water lilies contain large leaves that are round and slit in the middle that frogs like to jump onto. The leaf stem is below the surface of the pond and they have thick roots. The flowers is quite pleasing to the eye

 

CattailsCattails

Named for it’s appearance of a cat’s tail sticking out of the water, cattails have flat to slightly rounded leaves that twist slightly over their length and can reach between 5 or 10 feet in height. Flowers form a dense dark brown, cigar-shape at the end of spikes. Cattails have a complex root system and are difficult to manage where they have been established.

 

BulrushBulrush

Bulrush plants possess a long, rounded seed head at its very top, and wide, strong leaves that can be used for weaving. They are grass like and can grow up as high as 10 feet tall in water that is shallow. The steam comes to a point at the end and flowers might grow just below the stem’s tip.

 

Purple LoosestrifePurple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife has a square, woody stem and leaves which can either be opposite or whorled. At the plant base, the purple loosestrife has leaves which appear heart-shaped or rounded.

 

Reed GrassReed Grass

Reed grass is a broad-leafed grass, ranges between 5 to 16 and a half feet tall, with feathery flower clusters and stiff, smooth stems.

 

SmartweedSmartweed

Smartweed forms dense colonies in shallow water or moist soils and can grow to 3 feet tall. Their stems are jointed or have swollen leaf nodes that are surrounded by a tubular sheath. Roots can develop from the leaf nodes. Leaves are alternate, lance-shaped up to 4 inches long.

 

LEARN MORE: Additional Resource on Aquatic Weeds From AgroPedia

 

Step 2 Selecting an Aquatic Herbicide For Treatment

Once you’ve figured out what type of aquatic weed you are dealing with on your body of water the next step is to select the treatment method to manage the growth. Liquid herbicides are a great solution because they attack weed growth in shallow water on or above the ponds surface and can be spread evenly with a pump sprayer.

 

They are also a great alternative to manual or mechanical control especially if there is a large amount that you have to chop down or clean up.

 

Granular herbicides are another option you can look into and are best utilized when weeds are submerged as blankets under the water surface, in deep areas of the pond or in ponds with flowing water. These heavier granules can be applied with a hand spreader and will sink directly onto the weed beds.

 

A few things to consider when selecting an aquatic herbicides to address your pondweeds, it is always good to know the size of the treatment area where the target weeds are growing. It’s also important to know whether the pond is used for swimming irrigation or drinking and some herbicides have temporary water use restrictions.

 

Most herbicides are effective on a wide range of aquatic plants. For assistance when selecting the best herbicide for your pond it may be helpful to refer to our online DIY guides at Solutionsstores.com or contact us directly via email at askapro@solutionsstores.com or calling our customer service line at 1(800) 479-6583.

 

Step 3 Treating the Aquatic Weed With Herbicide

In order for herbicide application to be most effective in getting rid of those pondweeds, follow these guidelines:

 

  • Treat only actively growing weeds. The target weed must be present and actively growing in the pond for the treatment to be effective.

  • Treat during ideal weather. Though weeds can also grow in colder temperatures, pond water must be above 50 degrees fahrenheit to be controlled by herbicide treatment. Treatments are most effective on a warm, sunny day when rain is not expected in the immediate forecast, this allows for adequate absorption time.

  • Treat only ⅓ of the pond at a time. During hot weather as weeds die off, they can reduce the amount of available oxygen in the pond. Treat your pond in small sections waiting 10 to 14 days in between treatments to ensure fish have an oxygen-rich environment. We always recommend to keep an aeration system or fountain running during treatment.

  • Always read the product label for appropriate protective equipment and application rates. Pay special attention to cautions regarding the treatment of ponds used for irrigation drinking and swimming or ponds with fish such as trout or koi.

 

Aquatic herbicides are a great tool but do not address the actual problem of excessive nutrients and organic materials. Following up with proactive pond management practices such as aeration and natural water treatments will reduce the accumulation of dead organic material and can help keep your water clear from pondweeds for years to come.

 

If you need help with weed identification or would like more information on choosing the right product, dont hesitate to call up our experts or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com, email us photos of the pond and aquatic weeds and one of our pond experts will identify the target weed and help you choose the right product.

 

References:

https://fisheries.tamu.edu/aquatic-vegetation-management/

https://www.lakerestoration.com/c-68-weed-types.aspx

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