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How To Control Cattailcattail

With large pond owners, a common question that we get are in regards to how to control these weeds when they get out of control. One of the most common weeds that are problematic on bodies of water like ponds, lakes or marshes are cattails. Cattails are not all bad though as they do provide some benefit to the ecosystem. They provide an excellent habitat for wildlife wherever they are growing however they are invasive meaning they can get to the point where they can overtake your pond and that’s when action needs to be taken.

Cattails are aquatic plants which have a unique look which makes it stand out: the flower of a cattail is a cylindrical long brown flower spike and they also have flat blade like leaves which can reach heights between 3 to 10 feet tall.  Cattails are one of the most prolific plants found large marshes and on the edge of ponds. Two species are most common in US: broad leaved cattail (T. latifolia) and narrow leaf cattail (T. angustifolia).

Under the right conditions, cattails can grow and spread at an alarming rate.  The pollinated flowers develop into fluffy seed heads, blowing across a pond from cool breezes in the fall.  Alternatively, cattails spread through their root system.  Their thick, white roots, called rhizomes, grow underground near the edge of ponds.  As long as the water is not overly deep, the cattails can comfortably live off the sunlight and water, storing a large amount of nutrients into their root system.  Cattail can choke out other competing plants in the water as well in its efforts to dominate a body of water.

If you have cattail invading your pond, lake or other body of water, Solutions Pest and Lawn can help you eliminate them the DIY way with our high quality aquatic herbicides and helpful how-to advice.

How To Get Rid of Cattail: 3 Step Solution

When approaching cattail control, there are several options which you can try to eliminate their invasion but few are very effective. Mechanical control by using a backhoe can work but depending on how much cattail plants you have to cut down it could be quite an arduous task. We wouldn’t recommend physical removal by hand. The best option is using some type of a topical aquatic herbicide. These work very effectively and are good for when you do not have the energy or time to removal weeds through the more labor-intensive means of control. Check out our simple three step process below for effective cattail removal.

Step 1: All good aquatic weed control programs should start with a detailed survey of the body of water where the cattail resides before proceeding with chemical treatments. You wouldn’t want to harm any beneficial desired vegetation, fishes and other aquatic creatures.

Step 2: Once you have carefully analyzed your pond and lake, you can than move on to selecting a treatment method to manage the cattail growth. At Solutions Pest and Lawn we have a large selection of different aquatic herbicides which come in both liquid or granular forms. 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. This makes the control process efficient and convenient to physical removal.

Granular herbicides are best another good option especially 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. What you select is entirely up to your personal preference. You will see our recommendations below.

Step 3: Apply the the selected herbicide to your pond or lake during ideal temperatures and following the instructions carefully on the product label of the herbicide you chose. Timing is important when treating cattail as it is recommend to spray them between late July and first frost, when the plant is actively growing. Depending on the size of your pond or lake, you may need to conduct treatment in sections, waiting 2 weeks between treatments until you’ve treated the entire body of water. There is a more detailed guide on applying weeds in our Knowledge base.

Browse our cattail control products below. If you need any assistance with your order or any DIY advice, you can contact us directly via email, live chat or by phone and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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