More people aware of wild parsnip danger: SD&G weed inspector

In this July, 2014 file photo, a field of wild parsnip (also commonly referred to as poison parsnip) grows west of the waterfront trail next to Second St. West in the City of Cornwall. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

SD&G – The weed inspector for SD&G says more people are learning the fate of a run-in with wild parsnip and are asking the United Counties to do something about it.

Peter Leyenaar outlined the year of weed control in SD&G during a presentation to county council Monday morning.

Leyenaar’s presentation said 37 calls were received by the upper-tier municipality about weeds – mostly about how to deal with them.

There were 30 calls in 2013 and 21 in 2012.

Most of the calls came from South Glengarry and South Dundas and a lot of queries were about wild parsnip, a weed that could end up on Ontario’s noxious weed list.

“More people are becoming aware of risks of skin exposure to wild parsnip, and are asking for control of weeds,” Leyenaar said in his report.

When someone comes in contact with the juice of the wild parsnip plant, the person will develop itchy water-filled blisters on the skin when exposed to sunlight. The blisters can leave permanent scars.

The counties have a number of nuisance weeds including ragweed, thistles, poison ivy and wild chervil.

Leyenaar outlined to council that while many people will deal with the weeds themselves, others are reluctant to do anything to clean up their property, especially on township roads were the weeds aren’t cut.

The counties have been doing an ongoing program of cutting along township and county roads while also spraying once a year for the second year in a row, which Layenaar said has had a positive effect.

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