Invasive Control Methods: THE GLOVE OF DEATH!!!
If you spend any time near wetlands in Wisconsin you’ll invariably come across the Typha species, better known as Cattails. Sure, we all loved playing with them as kids, some of us still do! Here in cheese-land, we tend to have 2 species of cattails that occur in Wisconsin: a native thin-leaved variety. And the more common Common Cattail (clever name, eh?)
The latter is considered an invasive species here in Wisconsin. It takes over the habitat of the narrow-leafed version, and even hybridizes with it making it extremely hard to identify and control. When cattails overtake an area to too large of a degree, management is all we have left to do. When working around other good plants like bullrush, lillies, or aquatic animals that could be hurt by herbicide, and the rhizomatic nature of the plant prevents you from digging it up w/o huge disturbances to the ground a selective method to hit those plants which matter most needs to be employed.
BEHOLD THE GLOVE OF DEATH!!!
There is a technical term for it, but right now I cannot remember. It’s a simple process. You only need a few items:
1) Herbicide to be applied (this can vary depending on what you want to control)
2) Spray bottle / container to carry herbicide with you
3) Rubber gloves to protect your skin from the herbicide
4) A cotton glove to soak in the herbicide, so that you may apply it.
You spray your cotton glove. Find a plant who’s life you wish to end, and then starting at the bottom you grab and pull up, thus covering the leaves with the herbicide. It’s fairly effective, and is one of the only ways you can really use herbicide on wetland plants w/o too much overspray.
As you can see, the 4 of us (I’m not pictures since I’m taking the photo . . . ) and two others in another part of this particular pond on the Mequon Nature Preserve had a lot of work ahead of us. It’s a fairly tedious process. The herbicide was dyed blue so that we could see it (and so that it stained my white shirt perfectly well too!) but we won’t be able to see the results of our efforts for another week or so as the plants die off. There you have it. The glove of death method of invasive species control.
Use this information wisely.