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Public Engagement for Integrated Pest Management

What are invasive weeds?

An invasive weed is a plant that comes from a different place of origin other than Alberta, however, not every introduced plant becomes invasive. Characteristics that make plants invasive are:

  • Out compete native plants
  • There is no natural enemies or pathogens to keep them in check where the plants were introduced to
  • Grow and spread quickly, forming a dense mat of single species (monoculture)
  • Infest streams, riverbanks and waterways as well as terrestrial ecosystems
  • Reduce biodiversity and disrupt the balance of local ecosystems
Why are invasive weeds so pretty?

A lot of invasive plants were introduced to Canada as ornamental plants because they are beautiful. Sometimes introduced ornamental plants escape from gardens and farms into natural areas, and they are found to be invasive. 

What are regulated/noxious weeds?

The Alberta Weed Control Act defines a list of regulated weeds that need to be controlled or eradicated by property owners. There are 46 prohibited noxious weeds that should be destroyed when found, and 29 noxious weeds that should be controlled and prevented from spreading. The term “noxious weeds” is sometimes used by the media and the public to refer to all the regulated weeds.

What is the City doing to control regulated weeds?

Adhering to the Integrated Pest Management Policy C501A, the City of Edmonton will prioritize preventative methods of pest management and will support long-term management of pests using a combination of techniques including mechanical and physical treatments, biological control, habitat manipulation, and judicious application of pesticides.

Does the City use herbicides?

The City of Edmonton has a Herbicide Ban Motion in place to eliminate non-essential use of herbicides on city-owned land. However, there are exemptions that allow for their use. Herbicides are used to:

  • Ensure City infrastructure is safe and well-maintained. This includes use on sewer pipes, storm water facilities, concrete surfaces and along LRT routes.
  • Maintain cemeteries, bowling greens, premier sports fields, as well as parkland used in high-profile events.
  • Manage regulated weeds listed in the Alberta Weed Control Act.
What is the City doing about dandelions?

In 2015, City Council approved the Herbicide Ban Motion to ban cosmetic use of herbicides, therefore, mowing is the current way of maintaining turf (grass areas) in the City. The frequency of mowing will vary depending on land use and service level, please visit edmonton.ca/parkcare for more information.

Why do I need to control weeds on my property?

Bylaw 14600 (Community Standards Bylaw) states that land owners should not have “unkempt grass or weeds higher than 10 centimetres”. This is why residents should control weeds in general. 

Both private and public property owners are regulated by the Alberta Weed Control Act, which defines a list of regulated weeds that need to be controlled or eradicated by property owners. If you need help with identifying weeds, use the Weed Identification lookup tool or the online service (information only) or download the Edmonton 311 app.

With the new waste cart rollout, how should I dispose of weeds?

For regulated/noxious weeds, for example, Creeping Bellflower, pull these plants from the root and put them in the garbage or in the black cart. Never place noxious weeds in your green cart or home compost. Mixing noxious weeds with your other yard waste risks spreading the seeds and roots.  

For yard and garden trimmings that do not contain regulated/noxious weeds, place them in the green cart or yard waste bags. This item will soon be collected seasonally on yard waste collection days. To find out when your collection will move to the new system, visit edmonton.ca/waste.

How can I get help if I don’t know what plants I have?

For help identifying weeds, use the Weed Identification lookup tool or the online service (information only) or download the Edmonton 311 app.

Please note that a weed identification request is not used to make complaints. It will not prompt actions from bylaw officers or operational teams.  

How can I make a complaint about weeds?
  • You can call 311 or submit a complaint online or on the Edmonton 311 app.
  • During the growing season, there are two service requests that can be submitted online and on the Edmonton 311 app including “Noxious weeds - private property” and “Noxious weeds - public property”. Please note that these requests are intended for regulated weeds only. 
How do I get rid of Creeping Bellflower?

Creeping Bellflower is listed as a noxious weed in the Alberta Weed Control Act, and property owners are required to control the spread of it, but eradication is not mandatory. To control it, dig out the plants with as many roots as possible.

As soon as you can get the new growth out of the ground, the less energy can be stored in the roots of the plants. Over time, you will starve out the roots. If you can not get the whole population out, make sure to remove flowers before they produce seeds to stop seeds from going into the soil.

For More Information

Weed Identification

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email invasiveweeds@edmonton.ca

Weed Enforcement

Telephone

 In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Fax 780-496-6054

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