Stop Noxious Weeds, by Land and by Seeds!

Many noxious weeds’ seeds stick onto boots, pant legs, car tires, and other objects to spread to new sites. Don’t let them use youbrush them off!

Noxious weeds are sneaky. Each one has its trick for taking over: many spread by seed, while others use stem and root fragments, underground rhizomes, or aboveground runners. Anytime you’re out around a noxious weed, make sure you know how it reproduces, and don’t let it use you to invade!

One of the main methods of weed dispersal is via seeds and other propagules that latch onto boots, pant legs, pet fur, tires, and other moving objects. Some, like the infamous garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), are really hard to see once they’re mixed in with mud and dirt. When you’re working around these plants, always use a boot brush to clean seeds and soil off of you, your pet, and your friends before leaving the site.

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), a Class A noxious weed, has black seeds that are almost invisible in soil. Photo by Weed Specialist Maria Winkler.
Brush your boots to keep weed seeds on-site!
Kiwanis Ravine workers use this log to brush their boots after walking through garlic mustard. As these garlic mustard rosettes show, it really works!
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For extra fun and friendly boot-brushing, try this buddy system brought to you by Erin Haley and the rest of the King County Noxious Weed Control Program’s Riparian Team! Featuring Riparian Specialists Justin Brooks and Sayward Glise.

When it comes to many weeds that spread by stem and root fragments (and those going to seed), don’t toss them in your backyard compost pile. They can re-root and grow right out of it. Instead, put them in your city-provided yard waste bin or in the trash, depending on the species. For disposal tips and other information on a specific noxious weed, visit our website.

Yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) spreads via stem fragments, forming dense patches in forest understories and other shady areas. Do not throw this plant in your backyard compost pile; instead, place it in a city-provided yard waste bin. Photo by Sasha Shaw.

Many of King County’s noxious weeds are going to seed right now, so it’s crunch time to control them. Good luck out there—drink water, wear sunscreen, and don’t forget to brush your boots!