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How To Control Muskgrassmuskgrass

There are some aquatic weeds which not only look unsightly, but their smell is off-putting as well. This is especially the case with an aquatic invader known as Muskgrass. Muskgrass is named as such because of its strong, musky odor which resembles the foul smell of garlic.Also known by other names such as chara and skunkweed, muskgrass isn’t actually a grass at all but rather is an algae which grows at the bottom of a pond or lake and makes it’s way to the surface. If left untreated long enough, it can quickly take over the body of water where they are established.

Muskgrass is a branched multicellular algae that is grayish-green colored and is often confused with submerged flowering plants. However, muskgrass does not have any flowers, nor does it extend above the water surface, and often has a “grainy” or “crunchy” texture. Muskgrass has cylindrical, whorled branches with 6 to 16 branchlets around each node. Muskgrass does bring some benefit to the aquatic ecosystem though via stabilizing bottom sediments; providing food for waterfowl and cover for fish. Muskgrass also lends support to insects and other small aquatic animals, which are an important part of the diet for trout, bluegills, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass.

Muskgrass can become a problem when it grows in large numbers because it reduces available fish habitat, clogs intakes on irrigation lakes for golf courses, and makes recreational activities like swimming or boating difficult or reduces the overall aesthetics of a lake or pond. If your body of water has a case of muskgrass growing on it, Solutions Pest and Lawn can help with our aquatic herbicide and algaecide products.

How To Get Rid Of Muskgrass: 3 Step Solution

Removing muskgrass from a pond or lake can be a challenging task especially if they have reached abundant levels on a surface. You can perform mechanical control by raking the muskgrass up in clumps with a rake. However if you have a large pond or lake to deal with and a lot of muskgrass, the work needing to be put in may be too much and very time-consuming. That is why we suggest a chemical method of control using aquatic herbicides. Below you will find a simple 3 step program to tackle nuisance muskgrass the DIY way.

Step 1: First off it is important to start a treatment program by performing a detailed inspection and analysis of your body of water. You will take into consideration what the water is used for (drinking, recreation, swimming etc.) the type of waterfowl and fishes that live in the water as well as the other vegetation you desire to have in the water. Also you need to confirm whether what you’re dealing with is indeed muskgrass. Muskgrass can often get confused with other submerged plants and pond weeds. If you aren’t able to tell the difference, take a picture of the growth or plant and send it our way at identification@solutionsstores.com. We will properly ID the weed for you and also give helpful product recommendations and treatment tips.

Step 2: Once you have ID’d it and can confirm that it is muskgrass, it’s time to proceed with treatment. Since muskgrass is a type of algae, we suggest using an algaecide over an aquatic herbicide. You will then need to determine the right dosage and the right timing and temperature to apply the algaecide which can usually be found on the instruction label of the selected product.  Some algae species can reach troublesome levels in cold water just after ice-out.  However, many aquatic herbicides to tackle algae work best in water warmer than 60 degrees F. When applying herbicides you should also make sure you have safety equipment such as protective eyewear, gloves and long sleeve clothing to protect you from possibly coming in contact with chemicals.

Step 3: Using a backpack sprayer or hand-pump sprayer, apply 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. If the pond is heavily infested with muskgrass, it may be necessary to treat the pond or lake in sections and let each section decompose for about two weeks before treating another section. Aeration, particularly at night, for several days after treatment may help control the oxygen depletion. Algae reproduces rapidly, and it is common not to get season-long control with algaecides.  Nearly all products we carry here at Solutions provide at least 3-4 weeks of improvement.  Retreatments are often necessary. There is a more detailed guide on applying aquatic herbicides in our Knowledge base.

Browse our muskgrass 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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