Let’s start off with the main point of today’s News:
IF YOU FIND GIANT HOGWEED- DO NOT TOUCH IT!
The Portadown Times have reported that a group of teenagers have been badly burned by Giant Hogweed growing on a riverbank. The Giant Hogweed’s alkaline sap caused severe chemical burns that initially looked like sunburn. Over the following 24 hours, blisters started to appear and the teenagers had to seek medical advice. The full story can be found here. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.
So what can be done if you come into contact with Giant Hogweed? Invasive Weeds Agency were advised by an Accident & Emergency Registrar, “If a person comes into contact with Giant Hogweed sap then they should repeatedly wash the affected area with clean water and then keep the area covered to prevent UV light from causing a reaction which leads to burns. It is advisable to seek medical assistance.”
The threat to the public that Giant Hogweed poses becomes apparent every year when people get accidentally burned by this weed. There are measures that can be taken to prevent this plant from being such a menace, namely herbicide control of the juvenile plants in late spring. This year’s warm temperatures and heavy rainfall have given ideal growing conditions for Giant Hogweed (and many other weeds such as Japanese knotweed) making control efforts difficult, however, it is the responsibility of landowners to control this plant in order to prevent it from spreading and harming people. Warning signs in Giant Hogweed areas should be commonplace but they are not.
If you have Giant Hogweed on your land and require assistance in eradicating this non-native invasive weed (or others such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam), call Invasive Weeds Agency on 0845 676 9252 or contact us here.
IWA. Getting to the root of the problem.