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How To Control Water Lettucewater lettuce

When you own a pond or water property, it’s almost inevitable that you will deal with some type of invasive weed mucking up the beautiful view of crystal clear waters. One such invader is the large leafy water lettuce. Named as such because of it’s resemblance to a head of lettuce, this is definitely not a plant you would like to include in a salad for lunch. If left untreated, this aggressive plant can spread quickly to the point of covering the entire surface of a pond.

Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) is a free-floating perennial plant. Water derives its name from resembling an open head of lettuce with thick leaves. The light dull green leaves are hairy and ridged. There are no stalks. Its roots are light colored and feathery and its flowers are inconspicuous.  

Experts disagree whether water lettuce is a native plant or an introduced plant. Water lettuce occurs in tropical regions throughout the world. Water lettuce occurs in lakes, rivers and canals throughout the Southeastern United states and occasionally forms large dense mats. Water lettuce grows mainly as a free-floating plant but can survive as a semi-rooted plant for prolonged periods.

If you have water lettuce growing on your pond or canal, you can eliminate the issue by using aquatic herbicides which we supply here at Solutions Pest and Lawn.

Browse our water lettuce 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.

How To Control Water Lettuce: 3 Step Solution

Removing water lettuce can make for a frustrating challenge because of it’s aggressive nature, but it’s not impossible.  There are several methods to choose from to go about removal. Some take the mechanical route and physically remove the weeds via raking or skimming them off the water surface. However, if you have a particularly large water lettuce problem where they have heavily overtaken your pond or lake, physical control may be too labor intensive, costly and takes up too much time. At Solutions Pest and Lawn, we have aquatic herbicides which you can use to kill off water lettuce and discourage growth. Below we have laid out a 3 step plan where if followed closely, you can easily eliminate water lettuce.

Step 1: All chemical control treatments should start with a detailed inspection. Survey your lake or pond and determine what the best and safest plan of option there is to take. You have to take into account how the lake or pond is utilized not only by humans but also the fishes and aquatic life which inhabits the water. Asking yourself these questions and weighing the pros and cons of control before proceeding is a highly recommended first step in making sure that you not affect the vegetation and communities which live within the water or contaminate the water where it’s not safe to swim in or drink.

Step 2: Once you have carefully analyzed your pond and lake, you can then move on to selecting a treatment method to manage the water lettuce. 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 surface of the pond and can be spread evenly with a pump sprayer. This makes the control process efficient and convenient to physical removal.

Granular herbicides are also an excellent selection 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 into the weed beds. What you select is entirely up to your personal preference. You will see our recommendations below.

Step 3: 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 fish and other aquatic life are present and the aquatic weeds are dense, treat 1/3 to 1/2 of the body of water at a time, leaving a 14-day gap between treatments. Repeat the treatment with a fresh solution two weeks later on any water lettuce that you may have missed. The aquatic herbicide will kill the plant, causing it to decay without having to remove it manually from the water.There is a more
detailed guide on applying chemicals to aquatic weeds in our Knowledgebase.

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