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How to Get Rid Of Wild Parsnips


It is a common problem to get rashes because of wild plants. Because of their ability to rapidly grow, these wild plants can spread over plantation in no time. In the attempts of getting rid of them, it is hard to keep yourself safe from the skin trauma they are able to cause. The most common wild plants are poison ivy, cow parsnip, giant hogweed, poison sumac, poison oak, and wild parsnips. All these can cause serious skin irritations, therefore, it is recommended to take action as soon as problem. This how-to guide will allow you to get rid of wild parsnips while maintaining your health.

Identifying Wild Parsnips

Wild parsnips grow on the roadside. If they are not mowed or cut at the right time, by midsummer they can be a several feet high, covered in tiny flowers that are yellow and the overall shape looks like an umbrella. The leaves of the wild parsnip have a saw-like edge.

During the first year of their growth, there are only small rosettes that begin to appear on the leaves. During the second year of its growth, the plant sends up tall stems so it can attract yellow clusters of flowers. When it is blooming, it is easy to identify it and it is the best time to cut them. Once it starts to form the seed heads, the plant begins to get out of hand.

There is a liquid-like filling in the stem of the wild parsnip and in it’s flowers, and leaves that could attract sunlight and cause burns on your skin. The reaction described is known as phytophotodermatitis. The rash begins to looks like sunburn after a little while. If the contact with the plant was for an extended amount of time, it can cause blisters and discoloration.

The Steps of Getting Rid of Wild Parsnip

You need to keep in mind that you have to work with caution. When you are dealing with any weed problem, you need to make sure you are using the correct steps. You will need to make sure you are not allergic to them because sometimes, your body can get in contact with the wild parsnip, which could lead to rashes. We have provided you with 5 steps that will allow you to get rid of wild parsnips without using harsh chemicals.

  1. Stay Covered At All Times

In the attempts of defeating this wild plant, you need to make sure you are wearing protective clothing. This includes long pants, long sleeved shirts, socks & high shoes, and gloves. These are necessary, which means you must not begin if you are not wearing them. Wearing something to protect your eye is also a good idea. Getting the juice or oil from the plants in your eyes or skin can be dangerous; therefore, wearing all this will ensure that you are safe.

  1. Keeping Your Distance When Working

When you are dealing with wild plants, working at an arm’s length distance is the key that you should keep in mind at all times. It is a smart choice to use long handle tools or mowers rather than you being face to face with the wild parsnip infestation. You have to make sure you have a good distance with the plant so you can avoid all the juices and oils within it that could be a major risk to your health. If you are trying to cut an individual plant then you can cut with a dandelion fork or sharp spade.

However, when you are dealing with large patches of wild parsnips, you have to mow it down or use brush cutters to eliminate them.

  1. Staying Cool is Key

If it is possible, try working at the cooler time of the day or when the weather is the cloudiest. Heat, sunlight, and sweat are all factors that could increase the plant’s potential of causing rashes to your skin. They are less active when the weather is cooler.

  1. Using Herbicides

Keep in mind that you need to use herbicides that burn down. The best one would be 2 4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer as this will attack the plants that are hard to mow or uproot. There is a chance that it will take more than one application to eliminate the root of the plant. However, if you were not entirely successful in defeating the plant’s roots, there is a high chance that you have slowed the spreading process- it is a benefit either way.

Eliminating the stems, flowers and leaves of the wild parsnips in the summer, it will not allow any poison parsnips to grow. Why will they not be able to grow? Because it will not have time to produce, any seeds by the time winter is here. Nevertheless, if you do miss the deadline, you can apply Dynaweed in the fall or the springtime to the seeds and they will not be able to sprout.  

  1. Be Careful

Make sure you are not burning or composting the plants that have been cut own. Let the stems dry completely and then dispose them in a black plastic bag. Leave it under the sun for a week or so, so the plants completely dehydrate. You can call a municipality and give them the plants for your local landfill.


Keep yourself protected and if you have spotted a will plant spread, make sure you are taking action against it. The sooner you acknowledge the problem, the better it will be for you to deal with.


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