Missoula County Weed District & Extension

Handpulling


SpottedKnapweed-Color400Always wear gloves when handpulling any type of plant. Only handpull weeds with taproots. Examples of common noxious weeds that can be handpulled are spotted knapweed, blueweed and houndstongue. Handpull weeds when the ground is moist which is usually in the spring or fall in Montana. Using a dandelion digger for spotted knapweed and a shovel for houndstongue is recommended. Always make sure to discard the weed properly once it is handpulled. Burning, mulching, or throwing the weeds in the garbage are some examples of disposal. Handpulling is usually more successful on small weed infestations where there is still good coverage of desirable vegetation. Keep in mind that spotted knapweed seeds are viable on average for 8-10 years while houndstongue seeds are only viable for 1-2 years. When handpulling in areas without desirable vegetation, revegetation will be necessary. Handpulling weeds like leafy spurge, which spread by their root system, is not recommended since handpulling these plants can stimulate root growth.