Reports of Giant Hogweed


Published 04/23 2014 11:33AM

Updated 04/23 2014 11:41AM

Now that the weather is warming up, there have already been reports of giant hogweed in Michigan.  It's a weed that can cause extremely painful blisters if it touches your skin and can even cause blindness if you get it in your eyes.

WFFT sent Brooke Welch to find out if hogweed could become a problem here in our area.

It's a dangerous weed that many people living in Indiana have never even heard of.

It can grow to be 14 feet tall and has been an issue just north of Indiana in Michigan and has been found in Ohio.  Gonzalee Martin, the Agricultural Agent with Purdue Extension for Allen County, says he rarely sees it in Indiana.

"I've only seen the hogweed once and I saw it once last year and it was later into the season, like August or September."

Extremely rare, but what should you do if you see hogweed?

"So if you run away from poison ivy, you need to run away from hogweed.  It's not a good weed, it can be very dangerous to the skin."

Experts say if the sap from hogweed touches the skin, it can cause severe blisters that oftentimes leave scars.  Also, if the sap gets in the eyes, it can cause blindness.  Martin says what to do if you see it in your yard.

"It's not a friendly weed, so you need to make sure you use some type of gloves.  You need to make sure you get the whole root system because if you don't, it will come back within a few weeks."

Common weedkillers such as Roundup will kill this plant.

WFFT contacted several local landscapers and every single one of them told us that they hadn't seen this plant in the area.

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