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Weed control methods

There are many methods available to control pest plants. Often one method will not be sufficient to control serious weeds, and integrating several methods over a long period will be more successful. This approach is known as integrated weed management.

The control methods referred to on this website should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances.

While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, Biosecurity Queensland does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.

Environmental management

Environmental management aims to alter the conditions required by a particular weed.

Chemical control

Chemical control involves the use of herbicides. Herbicides control weed plants either by speeding up, stopping or changing the plant's normal growth patterns; by desiccating (drying out) the leaves or stems; or by defoliating the plant (making it drop its leaves).

Labels and permits

It is extremely important to read and adhere to the information contained on the herbicide label. By law, herbicides can only be used in accordance with the claims for use on the label. Most environmental weed applications are not listed on herbicide labels. In these cases, it is necessary to obtain an off-label permit.

Control techniques

Some techniques are more suitable for control of particular species and in different situations than are others.

Mechanical control

Mechanical control is the use of powered tools and machinery to manage weeds. It is suitable for larger infestations because it reduces the weed bulk with less manual effort. Care should be taken to minimise soil disturbance.

Biological control

Biological control involves the use of insects or pathogens (diseases) that affect the health of the weed. Usually, these biocontrol agents are from the same country of origin as the weed species.

Manual control

Manual control is the use of the hands or handheld tools to deal with weeds. An advantage of manual control is that it minimises soil disturbance, and decreases the likelihood of erosion and weed seed germination.

Further information