Catail too much of it ,how to treat it? When appears dead how do I clean it out permanently?

Asked July 4, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

Madera County California

1 Response

California has rules which may supersede what I am about to write from out of state. Please check with your ag dealer to be sure about any restrictions and local rules if you decide to use chemical controls.

OK, disclaimer out of the way. Cattails can only be controlled physically or chemically. No "bugs" will eat them away for you. That is, there is no biological control that is effective that I am aware of. You can pull up small infestations of cattail by hand/shovel. If the patch is a large patch, then glyphosate labeled for ponds is the best choice. If you want an organic control, herbicidal vinegars can be applied but will take many applications to weaken the plants sufficiently to kill them. Vinegars do not kill the roots until the plant is weakened and the root "starves". Glyphosate is very effective if applied at labeled rates with a surfactant/wetting agent later in the season just before the heads mature. This timing gets a lot of product to move down to the roots. The glyphosate will also kill almost any other surrounding green plant material it is sprayed on, so be careful. The pond formulations are usually only sold in ag dealers or ag cooperatives. You will not find them at box stores or most local garden centers. The ag dealer will be able to help you with figuring spray rates and helping get the right surfactant in the mix if that is needed.