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How to Control Water Chestnutswater chestnuts

While water chestnuts are a common ingredient in asian cuisine, the water chestnut we’ll be talking about is actually not a nut at all but is an exotic and invasive aquatic plant which grows underwater, in marshes and puds and in muddy wet areas. Native from Asia, Australia, Africa and various islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans the water chestnut has made its way to North America and is present in the northeastern United States where it's known for clogging waterways and ponds and altering aquatic habitats.

The Water Chestnut is an annual, rooted floating leaved non-native plant which can form dense mats at the water’s surface which are hard to penetrate. They have green floating leaves which are triangle shaped and are between 2 to 4 cm wide. These leaves form rosettes, which are attached to the main stem by an inflated petiole (leaf stem). The upper side of the leaves is waxy and shiny and the underside is coated with fine hairs. An air bladder is located at the base of the floating leaves, and the leaf margins are wavy. Leaves that are submerged underwater are feathered and whorled around the stem. The slender stems can reach lengths of 15 feet.

Water chestnuts is known for spreading in rapid fashion wherever it is established. It has been reported that merely one acre of Water Chestnut on a wetland can spread to 100 acres within one year. This means that without chemical intervention to control the weed, Water Chestnut will often dominate ponds, shallow lakes and rivers. Water Chestnut is of little value to wildlife or fish and will eliminate most recreational activities, including swimming, fishing and boating. The rapid growth of Water Chestnut will also drive out native plants.

If you have a water chestnut problem on your aquatic property, Solutions Pest and Lawn has your answer in the form of aquatic herbicide products which can effectively address the issue.

How To Get Rid Of Water Chestnut: 3 Step Solution

There is more than one way to remove water chestnut from an area, however what we believe to be the best method of control is the use of aquatic herbicides. Alternatively, you could use mechanical control or even physically pull them out via the root but in areas where water chestnuts have overtaken a body of water, this could be very labor heavy and cumbersome. Aquatic herbicides can save both time and money and is quite easy to do with the correct approach. Here are some basic steps we have laid out to control water chestnuts if you choose to go the chemical treatment route.

Step 1: Before applying chemical treatment, it would be wise to first inspect and analyze the body of water that will be treated for aquatic weeds. It is important to take into account the fishes and aquatic life that use the body of water as a habitat as well as the other vegetation in the water that is desirable and vital to the ecosystem. You should also determine which aquatic herbicide will be best to apply to your pond or other body of water. The size of the body of water is also an important variable which will determine how to best approach treatment of water chestnut to ensure success while also making sure no fishes and desired plants are harmed.

Step 2: Once you have selected the best herbicide for you to use, you will then need to determine the right dosage and the right timing and temperature to apply the aquatic herbicide to eliminate water chestnut.  Most aquatic herbicide labels give dosages on the basis of acre-feet (volume measurement). The herbicide label can then be checked for the amount of chemical to apply per acre -foot. As for temperature and timing, late spring is usually the best time to apply aquatic herbicides. This is around the time plants are young and actively growing and most susceptible to herbicides.

Step 3: Using a backpack sprayer or handpump 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 water chestnut, it may be possible (depending on the herbicide chosen) 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. There is a more detailed guide on applying weeds in our Knowledge base.

Browse our water chestnut 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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