Whether you live near a local water source, or you’ve recently purchased or have been living in a lakeside property, one danger you may have become aware of is Milfoil. This species of plant has been causing trouble all over the US, yet very few people affected understand what it is, what to look out for, and what the risks and problems associated with it are.
In today’s guide, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of what Milfoil is and the dangers surrounding it, helping you and your community understand everything you need to know on how to deal with it. Let’s get straight into it.
What is Milfoil?
In short, Milfoil is a non-native species of water plant that has found its way into many lakes and water sources in the US. You’ve probably seen it in ponds and lakes in your local area. While natural, this type of plant is incredibly invasive and can cover large volumes of water very quickly, and has been present and contaminating lakes since the 1960s.
While it may look harmless, typical growth lengths can extend upwards of 15-foot per plant, and when you have hundreds of these in a single water source, you can start to see how infectious they can be.
What are the Dangers of Milfoil?
The main problem with such an invasive species is the fact that they consume practically every resource in a water source, preventing other forms of life from flourishing. Since the plants can mat the surface of the water, this can prevent sunlight from penetrating the water and allowing other forms of a plant to grow.
This can also help to drastically decrease the amount of oxygen in the water that can starve both plants and animals alike. Over quite a surprisingly short amount of time, this can completely destroy an ecosystem which can be catastrophic for the water source, and inhabitants who live by or enjoy the water source and the life it brings.
This always affects humans in plenty of different ways. For example, the large dense mats of these plants are ideal breeding grounds for bugs such as mosquitoes. During the summer months, you can expect thousands, even millions, more bugs that you would have to deal with originally, which can be incredibly dangerous for everyone in that area.
How to Deal with a Milfoil Infestation?
Of course, the best way to stop a milfoil infection is to stop the plant from spreading in the first place, almost quarantining it, so you don’t have to deal with it elsewhere. This can happen in many different ways, such as boat propellers cutting up the plant so it can plant itself elsewhere, to supervised harvesting them, so they don’t spread.
There are also many sensible milfoil removal solutions out there, which you can employ to remove the plants safely. Since the hazards of Milfoil aren’t commonly well known, funding is short, so you may have to bring your community together to find a feasible solution.
As you can see, if you live near a water body that’s infested by Milfoil, it’s important for the natural environment and yourself and your community that you act fast. Be smart and responsible, spread the word, and you’re sure to be able to deal with your problem as quickly as possible!