Algae and Weed Control
All waterways – ponds, lakes, canals – are susceptible to bad nutrients that accelerate the growth of algae, weeds and other undesirable vegetation. These bad nutrients enter the water via street drainage, lawn debris and runoff from fertilized yards. Additionally, weeds can get into your waterway from seeds carried by the wind, birds, boat trailers, etc.
Even though some algae and aquatic weeds are a necessary part of a healthy ecosystem, too much is not a good thing. Algae can be especially troublesome, as it’s present year round in Florida and thrives during the warmer months. Fortunately, a professional aquatic weed control program makes all of these aquatic nuisances manageable. We offer a variety of ways to work within our clients timeframe and budget to keep algae, weeds and other undesirable vegetation under control.
EPA Approved Herbicides: We at Aquatic Weed Control, Inc., use only EPA approved herbicides as a technique to control aquatic weeds in all waterways in Florida.
There are about 300 herbicides registered in the United States and some have been around since the early 1950’s, but for aquatic use, there are only a few dozen. Each one has a list of plants that it is designed to kill or control and sometimes it’s a combination of herbicides that does the job. Most are designed to target certain plants and kill on contact, while others are absorbed through their foliage and take about 7 – 10 days to do the job. Some are liquid and others are granules or pellets. And, then our technicians factor in the volume of a body of water to determine the amount of herbicide to use.
Our uniformed technicians go through a thorough training program and are licensed by the State in order to do their job properly everyday for our clients.
These chemicals are applied in a variety of methods.
Backpack method: These are used by our licensed and trained technicians
to apply chemicals in the following conditions…
- Able to individually target specific non-native plants that are taking
over a small native plant area.
- A technician wearing a backpack can walk into small, tight areas where
larger equipment can not get access.
ATV method: These all terrain vehicles are the ideal equipment
for spraying along
the shorelines of all waterways. Our fleet
is tailored to a waterway, unloaded and put to work.
- The fact that they are all terrain allows the technician to
travel easily around a waterway.
- They can carry a load of different chemicals so our
technicians don’t have to make trips back to the truck for
different chemicals to treat the diverse array of plants they
may come upon; this saves time.
Skiff method: These light-weight boats have small trolling motors and are equipped with spray tanks and hoses that allow our technicians to reach weeds anywhere on the waterway.
- Some waterways have steep banks that you can’t get to the weeds growing along shoreline in a ATV, so a skiff is launched and the weeds are sprayed from the waterway side.
- For areas that need to be treated that are a long distance from the shore in larger ponds and lakes we use our fleet of skiffs.
Airboat method: This flat-bottom vessel can operate in
shallow water because there are no operating parts underneath.
- Navigates easily through shallow swamps and marshes.
- Can travel over and through patches of invasive plants like
hydrilla and alligator weed that a regular boat propeller would
Biological controls: These types of controls can be introduced into an invested body of water that work day after day to assist a herbicide maintenance program in controlling unwanted vegetation.
The first step is to contact Aquatic Weed Control who has professionals who can come out and look at the waterway to determine what factors are causing the outbreaks and give recommendations for controlling the matter.
One or more of these biological methods should be considered:
- New ponds should be dug deep enough to prevent light from reaching the bottom and located where they will not be fed nutrients that can wash down from larger nearby ponds.
- Have a good water run-off management plan in place. With all the rain we get in Florida this is vital. Nutrients from other sources run into a waterway and encourage new growth and stimulate any seeds in the water. Nutrients come from streets drainage, yard debris and grass clippings.
Run off and grass clippings from fertilized yards put
additional nutrients into the water that can accelerate
the growth of unwanted vegetation.
As part of a water management plan, we suggest;
- All grass clippings are NOT blown into the water
- Do NOT fertilize within 10 feet of the shoreline
Plant native plants along the shoreline. Because native plants compete with algae and other unwanted vegetation for nutrients and sunlight, they can be a very important weed controlling agents.
Native plants also help oxygenate the water which promotes the breakdown of bacteria and provides food and protection for fish and water fowl.
When native plants are planted along the shoreline they act as a filtering agent. When it rains, the run-off from fertilized yards and streets hit the native plants first that soak up the nutrients before they can get into the waterway. The nutrients are often good for the plants but they are bad for a waterway.
Our expert staff can size up your waterway and determine the proper aquatic approach and the number of fish needed to control the
target vegetation. We will install them and let them do what they do best – eat. For more information see the Grass Carp tab.
Regular Maintenance: To keep algae and undesirable vegetation under control and in proper balance with nature, we recommend a maintenance program. We work with the client to develop a plan that works in concert with the waterway that needs to be managed and the client’s budget.
It’s a little like mowing your yard. What would happen if you only
mowed the yard 2 to 4 times a year? Now you get the picture? With proper maintenance your waterway will stay in proper shape.
All of these methods are successful and when combined with a maintenance program, the effects are everlasting.