Non-Herbicide Management Options
1. Physical Management Options
Spike Rushes can be cut, and the rhizomes can be dug up. However, physical control is difficult because it can re-establish from seeds or remaining rhizomes.
2. Biological Management Options
At this time, there are no known biological controls for Spike Rushes; although, goats are known to forage on many types of emergent vegetation.
Herbicide Control Options
Always read the product label for directions and precautions, as the label is the law. Click on the name of the product to see the label. Read the label for specific water use restrictions.
The active ingredients that have been successful in treating Spike Rush include:
- Glyphosate (Rated: Good)
- Penoxsulam (Rated: Good)
These rating are based upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aquatic herbicide trials.
Liquid glyphosate formulations have been effective on spike rushes above the water line, but ineffective on plants in the water. They are broad spectrum, systemic herbicides. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action. Systemic herbicides tend to act more slowly than contact herbicides. An aquatically registered surfactant (see the label) will have to be added to the glyphosate solution for good results.
Common trade or product names include but are not limited to:
Penoxsulam is a broad spectrum, systemic herbicide. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action. Systemic herbicides tend to act more slowly than contact herbicides. It may be sprayed directly onto emergent plants or applied directly into the water. Penoxsulam should not be applied in areas where it will be diluted rapidly. This herbicide will need a registered surfactant (see the label) for leaf and exposed sediment applications.
Common trade and product names include but are not limited to:
One danger with any chemical control method is the chance of an oxygen depletion after the treatment caused by the decomposition of the dead plant material. Oxygen depletion can kill fish in the pond. If the pond is heavily infested with weeds, it may be possible (depending on the herbicide chosen) to treat the pond in sections and let each section decompose for about two weeks before treating another section. Aeration, particularly at night, for several days after treatment may help control the oxygen depletion.
One common problem in using aquatic herbicides is determining area and/or volume of the pond or area to be treated. To assist you with these determinations see SRAC #103 Calculating Area and Volume of Ponds and Tanks.
Many aquatically registered herbicides have water use restrictions (See General Water Use Restrictions).
To see the labels for these products click on the name. Always read and follow all label directions. Check label for specific water use restrictions.
Spike Rushes can be propagated by transplanting whole plants with rhizomes into shallow water areas during the winter or early spring.
If you need assistance, contact the Ag & Natural Resources agent in your county or hire a professional.