Vaudreuil-Dorion launches ragweed elimination campaign


PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK

One out of five people have an aller­gic reaction to ragweed’s pollen and the season usually extends from early Au­gust to October.

Pincourt continues its battle with the noxious weed

Vaudreuil-Dorion is continuing its efforts to eradicate ragweed from its territory and has hired a contractor who will apply an ecological herbicide in targeted sectors for about three weeks, including weekends. Spraying will take place when weather conditions are optimal.

“We’ve been dealing with the ragweed problem for many years,” said Marco Pilon, the city’s Deputy Director General and Treasurer. “This year we’re trying to improve our attempts to eradicate the plant from our territory.”

The product that will be used by the contractor is a saline solution developed and approved by a team of experts in ragweed control and elimination. It attacks ragweed without damaging other plants.

The application of the herbicide will significantly reduce the presence of the botanical allergen mainly in high risk sectors such as roadsides, near railroad tracks, along bicycle paths, and in parks and vacant lots. The city has been fighting ragweed for several years now.

One out of five people have an allergic reaction to the weed’s pollen and the season usually extends from early August to October. While it can be found across Canada, it’s especially abundant in southern Ontario and Quebec.

Pincourt’s ragweed battle

The Town of Pincourt is also continuing its ragweed eradication strategy this year. The town was able to expand the scope of its program in 2018 after it received a provincial government grant totalling just under $33,000.

“We’ve been dealing with our ragweed situation for the past three years with the subsidy we received from the province,” said Vicky Sauvé, Director of Communications and Citizen Relations.

The grant allowed Pincourt to expand the Mission Ragweed program that enabled adults and children to learn how to identify the plant. While the challenge may seem daunting, ragweed is one of the easiest weeds to remove. A gentle tug at the stem will remove the entire plant including the root.

While the ragweed situation isn’t severe in Pincourt, Sauvé said the issue is important enough for the city that council will be looking into setting aside municipal funds to continue its ragweed eradication campaign in 2021 now that the provincial subsidy has expired.

Residents can call the city’s Green Line service to report any kind of environmental situation they’re encountering on their property including ragweed. A consultant will visit the site, identify what the issue is and make recommendations on the best strategy to use to eliminate the problem.

More information is available on the city’s website at villepincourt.qc.ca/en/news/the-green-line-is-back-for-another-season.

Noxious weed

Ragweed is a prolific noxious weed that can eventually dominate fields, lawns and yards if it isn’t kept in check. People with allergies to ragweed suffer from repetitive sneezing, nasal congestion and discharge, itchy eyes and headaches.

The best way to fight ragweed is to uproot the plant before it flowers. Each flowering plant can produce up to 3,000 seeds which can result in up to 600 new plants being produced the next year. Allergic symptoms begin around mid-July and persist until the first frost. Severe reactions can result in workplace absenteeism and emergency medical treatments that have a negative economic effect.

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