If you come into contact with Giant Hogweed
- Immediately wash the affected area.
- Protect the affected area from the sun.
- Consult a health professional.
How to recognize Giant Hogweed?
- Do not confuse with other similar species.
- It can reach 15 to 20 feet high.
- The leaves may reach 5 feet and are «hairy» on the back
- The stalk is hollow and has purple spots and big white «hairs».
Why is it dangerous?
The transparent liquid sap is the danger. It can come from any part of the plant (broken stalk, leaf, root, flower or crushed seed). If they come in contact with the skin, they can cause severe burns, blisters and painful wounds if the skin is exposed to sunlight. Contact with the eyes can cause temporary or permanent blindness.
If you recognize Giant Hogweed on your property
- To get rid of a plant on your property you must take the following precautions:
- Wear protective clothing such as gloves, long sleeves, pants, protective glasses, rain coat and boots.
- Avoid all contact between the sap and your skin.
- Get rid of the flowers to avoid it getting bigger or the dispersion of seeds.
- Dig about 20 cm into the ground to cut the root.
- To get rid of the cut plant, dry it in a strong, hermetic plastic bag and leave it to dry in the sun for at least a week.
- DO NOT COMPOST this plant or throw away with your garden waste.
- Return to where the plant had grown and pull out any new plants.
- Clean all the clothes worn for pulling out the plants (avoid touching the soiled clothes or garden tools)
Reporting the Giant Hogweed
To report the presence of Giant Hogweed directly online, you may visit the invasive plant watch network web site or call the Environment ministry information center at 1-800-561-1616.