Fernie’s unwanted guests

Noxious weeds spread like wildfire, and without the use of pesticides the invasive plants are difficult to keep under control.

Unwanted guests keep popping up in Fernie and like most unwanted guests, they are hard to get rid of.

Noxious weed are non-native plants that have been introduced to British Columbia, and according to the province’s Ministry of Agriculture, the dozens of varieties of these types of weeds thrive because there are no insect predators and plant pathogens in the area to keep them at bay in their native habitats.

One way to get rid of noxious weeds is through pesticide use, but since Fernie’s pesticide bylaw was put into effect five years ago, removal of weeds in the city has been done either by pulling them out by hand or by using the city’s steamer equipment, said the town’s mayor Mary Giuliano.

“In this manner it is difficult to keep up with the work of destroying noxious weeds in all areas of town as it is so time consuming.”

But there’s one good thing that comes out of this, she said.

“Having fields and parks free of chemicals is a good thing for residents of all ages.”

The city, she said, has used pesticides in certain infested areas, in the past, as the bylaw allows this for noxious weed control.

“But for everyday it is only weed pulling and steamer, so as you can see it is difficult to keep the town looking weed-free.”

When pesticides are used, however, the area is cordoned off and no one is allowed on it, she said, adding during those times, the community is alerted to the use through advertising and on the city’s website.