Spotlight on Eurasian Watermilfoil aka Milfoil by Paul Grosjean

Posted on 23-06-2015


Spotlight on Eurasian Watermilfoil aka Milfoil

There are many types of aquatic plant life, and though some forms are healthy, some are not. One of the most invasive and harmful types of plant life is the Eurasian Watermilfoil, also called Milfoil, which is a type of weed that can, in effect, destroy beautiful lakes and bodies of water.


What Is Eurasian Watermilfoil?

Eurasian Watermilfoil is nothing more than a weed, native to Europe and Asia. It's interesting to note that Milfoil used to decorate aquariums, but now, it's mostly seen in lakes. Like weeds in our yards or gardens, it's something that can harm other plants as well as put our lakes in danger. The long stems become easily tangled and form thick mats, making it hard for recreational lake users to enjoy the water by engaging in simple pleasures like boating, fishing, and swimming. The sleek stems can wrap around boat propellers, and too much Milfoil can hinder property values.

This dangerous plant also makes water life hard for other healthy and necessary aquatic plants by pushing them out of the way. It's easy for Eurasian Watermilfoil to reproduce, and it only takes one strand of the weed to create more of the tangled stems. All it takes is one piece hanging on a fisherman's boat to move the weed from place to place, creating even more of the weed and making weed takeover imminent. The plant grows quickly and is extremely hard to control, making eradication quite a chore, if not impossible altogether.

Milfoil also brings dangerous mosquitoes to bodies of water, and since it is harmful to good aquatic plants, any body of water where Milfoil grows may become less and less diverse as time goes on and the powerful plant damages all of the good lake life in its path.

How Do I Spot Eurasian Watermilfoil?

Eurasian Watermilfoil may be a weed, but it's not unattractive. With long, leafy fronds, the plant has almost a feathery look to it. If you pick a Milfoil stem, you'll notice that the leaves reach upward and all connect in a pattern to the stem. There are multiple stems per stalk. Milfoil is seen in 33 states across the United States.

To be sure, check that each leaf has twelve or more pairs of leaflets. You'll also notice that the leaves are fragile, and when removed from the water, may take on a droopy appearance. The stems themselves may not be hardy.

How Do I Get Rid of Eurasian Watermilfoil?

There are ways to remove Milfoil from a lake or pond. Some removal ideas to consider include pulling weeds, using a cutter, or trying to chemically remove weeds from the water. The only issue with chemical removal is that chemicals aren't always approved depending on the state, and you may need to contact a professional to remove weeds using chemical methods. If you have the budget, you can add depth to your water body, but this is extremely costly and there are multiple budget-friendly methods to use instead.

You can also use a weed blanket, which is a barrier that you install that enables removal of bad weeds and growth of good fauna. These are a safe solution to weed removal, but you do need to be aware of weeds coming back through continual maintenance, buffers, and possible chemicals to ensure your lake or pond stays Milfoil free.


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