Puncturevine - the scourge of summer!



Puncturevine, AKA Caltrops ,Goat heads, and Mexican Sand Burs, are one of the greatest killjoys of the summer season, to the kids at play as well as biking enthusiasts’ who spend many small fortunes on tubes and tires to thwart the vicious throngs of puncturing seed pods. Farmers, ranchers and homeowners are all at war with this summer scourge, having field crops and barnyards and even front lawns being overrun by Puncturevine. Farmers particularly must battle to keep Puncturevine out of their fields.

Whether growing in agricultural fields or along ranch roadsides, in a backyard garden or along irrigation canals, the battle to rid ones property of Puncturevine is both time consuming and expensive, yet very necessary once the plant becomes established on your property.

A single Puncturevine plant can measure up to 15 feet in diameter and produce 200 to 5000 seeds. Each seed section is ideally shaped for catching a ride with any animal, person or tire that happens along.

The primary means of controlling Puncturevine is by the physical removal of plants before they go to seed. This means you must hoe, dig or chop plants before they start to bloom. When dealing with Puncturevine and working out an effective control method, it is often a good idea to solicit the advise of a licensed pest control advisor (PCA) in your area. They will know what methods of control or which herbicides are most effective for the area in which you live

Remember, ignoring one or two Puncturevine plants at the side of your driveway or in your barnyard may not seem like a big deal at the moment, but in very little time you may have an expensive and exhausting problem in your battle to eliminate the bicycle tire’s greatest nemesis, Puncturevine.

For the full article on this topic, click here. Additional information is available at the University of California-Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.