Photo by mightyjoepye on Flickr

Photo by mightyjoepye on Flickr

King County beginning seasonal battle against toxic and invasive plants

County’s noxious weed program can help residents learn how to identify and control harmful weeds.

  • Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:00am
  • Life

From a King County press release:

More daylight and warming temperatures are close at hand, and that means King County greenspaces and backyards will soon start coming alive with vegetation – including unwanted invasive plants and noxious weeds.

When a concerned resident contacted the King County Noxious Weed Program alarmed that she had seen giant hogweed growing in a greenspace by her house in southeast Seattle, she set in motion the County’s noxious weed response plan. First step: A phone call and a site visit from a county noxious weed specialist.

Giant hogweed is a highly invasive Class A noxious weed that grows over 10 feet tall and causes painful burns on skin exposed to its sap. The noxious weed program had found it growing in that area of Seattle in the past, so the new report was likely to be correct.

Even if it turned out to be a false alarm, the risk of giant hogweed spreading and causing harm is high, so the county plan calls for a noxious weed specialist to check it out in person, educate the property owner and any residents, and ensure all hogweed plants get safely controlled. If people can’t control the hogweed by themselves, county staff will help.

King County follows up on all reported sightings of noxious weeds such as giant hogweed that are regulated under Washington’s Noxious Weed Law. Noxious weeds are non-native plants that impact natural resources, agriculture, and human health.

There are over 90 species of noxious weeds that state law requires property owners and public agencies to control on their properties in King County, 60 of which have been found growing in the county in the past. Regulated species are mostly the ones that are found in only a few locations where there is still a chance of eradication, or ones that have very serious potential impacts on people, farms or the environment. For the widespread noxious weeds, the county focusses on education and providing technical assistance. Noxious weed sightings can be reported to King County online.

Knowing which plants are the worst and how to control them is the specialty of King County’s noxious weed program personnel, and they are ready to teach anyone who needs or wants to know more. And if people can’t control their noxious weeds themselves but want to do the right thing, the noxious weed program will find a way to help them.

The 2018 King County Noxious Weed List spells out which noxious weeds fall under the regulated category according to the state law. The list also educates people about additional invasive plants that aren’t regulated but that are also harmful to people or impact the environment.

Among the new noxious weeds for 2018 are two species that are regulated: European coltsfoot and small-flowered jewelweed, and one that is recommended for control called spotted jewelweed. Information on the new state noxious weeds can be found on the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board website, along with more information on the state law and links to weed lists in other counties of Washington.

County residents can learn about noxious weeds by taking a free class on noxious weeds, visiting the program’s website and Noxious Weeds blog, or stopping by an information table at community eventsaround the county. The noxious weed program also has a few specialty weed control tools for loan, such as large weed pullers for Scotch broom and injector tools for knotweed, and they offer vouchers for free disposal of regulated noxious weeds at county transfer stations.

The County’s noxious weed program is available to help residents learn to identify and control noxious weeds. Help is also available by calling the King County Noxious Weed Control Program at 206-477-9333 or by contacting Sasha Shaw, communication specialist for the noxious weed program at 206-477-4824 or

More in Life

Local scouts greet attendants at the Renton First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Photo courtesy of Patrick Montemerlo.
Local scouts celebrate big milestones

Scouts in Boy Scouts of America celebrated Scout Sunday, a national opportunity… Continue reading

Luis Hernandez. Courtesy of Renton Schools
He didn’t care much for class until his teacher encouraged his photography

Local Renton student’s photographs featured in exhibit in Spain

Courtesy of Armondo Pavone.
“I’m enjoying all of it”

Pavone speaks on his first weeks as mayor

Tommy the Turtle returns

Historic, interactive art placed at Kennydale Beach

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The International Lion Dance & Martial Arts Team performed in honor of Lunar New Year at the event, Jan. 28 at Renton Technical College 2020 Celebrity Chef event. RTC President Kevin McCarthy and Advanced Sommelier Christopher Chan participated in the demonstration, offering heads of lettuce to the lions. The Lion Dance is meant to bring good luck.
A tasty Lunar New Year

Renton Technical College got a tasty start to the new year with… Continue reading

Casey Pearson, Natalie Schlappi and Oliver Taylor are Renton Rotary Club’s January 2020 Teachers of the Month.
Teachers of the Month for January

As part of their commitment to education, and to celebrate teachers in… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. On Jan.22 about 60 St. Anthony’s students put together gift bags with school supplies for their sister school in Haiti, with the help of the WE and NFL Huddle for Good initiative. The schools connected after the devastating earthquake in Haiti killed a young missionary connected to the parish in Renton.
Students volunteer for sister school in Haiti

St. Anthony’s Parish works with WE, NFL for students

Photo courtesy of city of Renton. Council President Ruth Pérez speaks at Centro Rendu de San Vicente de Paul for the Reyes Magos event.
Census campaign joins Reyes Magos celebration

Members of Renton’s Hispanic community gathered Jan. 10 at Centro Rendu de… Continue reading

Photos courtesy of Renton School District.
                                Students across the district are hosting events, assemblies, celebrations of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pictured are Benson Hill Elementary students reenacting lunch counter sit-ins and other Civil Rights actions against segregation. The district stated in a tweet that schools blend these activities into existing work to teach students history; Black scholars in math, science, medicine; segregation; race; and other topics of U.S. social and political climate.
Renton students honor Doctor King

Students across the district are hosting events, assemblies, celebrations of the life… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Carol Kaelson. Christel Tucker, a Renton resident and flight attendant, stands at the wheel at Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs Monday, Jan. 20.
Rentonite spins the wheel of her dreams

Local finds herself winning thousands on Wheel of Fortune

Photo courtesy of Patrick Dodd
                                Patrick Dodd and his father, Stan Dodd, at Hannegan Pass, Cooper Lake Trail. After Stan Dodd died in 2019, Patrick decided to dedicate 2020 to hiking and raising money to Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center.
He lost his dad, now he hikes for him

Local man turns to nature, blogging to fund cancer research

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The new Bickersons Brewhouse opened on Nov. 9. Two months later, Jan. 9, business leaders and the Renton Chamber of Commerce celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting, featuring owners Frank Castro and Shaunn Siekawitch. Go bicker with the “Bickersons” at 4710 NE Fourth St., Renton.
Ribbon cut for new Renton brewhouse

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The… Continue reading