Aquatic plants are essential to maintaining healthy waterways, but there are times when plant growth becomes problematic. Homeowners and business owners may be unsure of when to treat aquatic plants as pests. The following problems underscore the importance of aquatic weed control.
Non-native aquatic plants can out-compete native plants for space and nutrients. This negatively impacts local wildlife that depend on the native plants for food and shelter. Removing these invasive plants allows the desired species to establish themselves and thrive.
Overgrown plants and algae deplete oxygen in the water. As the plants die, their decomposition worsens this problem. If not addressed properly, this could lead to “fish kills” in which large numbers of fish die due to oxygen deprivation. A fish kill further worsens water quality, leading to offensive odors and the presence of harmful bacteria.
It can be very relaxing to skim over the surface of the water in a boat or other watercraft, admiring the aquatic plants below the surface. However, excessive plant growth impedes watercraft movement by reducing the room that boats have to move. It may cause mechanical problems if the plants get caught in the motor.
Plant overgrowth interferes with swimming, as well. In addition to making it difficult to move through the water, it can also pose a hazard to swimmers who may become entangled in the weeds.
Aquatic plant overgrowth may trap sediments and clog drainage ditches and culverts. If left untreated, this causes water to back up and overflow. It may also interfere with irrigation systems, causing extensive crop loss. Aquatic weed control may prevent expensive property damage.
Insect and Fish Overpopulation
Aquatic plants create ideal breeding habitats for many species of insects and fish. While this is a healthy process in balanced ecosystems, plant overgrowth can disrupt that balance. Dense stands of vegetation allow mosquito larvae to thrive, and also overprotect prey fish.
Aquatic weeds not only pose a hazard to humans and the environment, but they can be unattractive. Overgrown lakes and ponds appear dirty and unhealthy, reducing visual appeal and possibly impacting property values.
Controlling aquatic weeds creates an appealing recreation space and a healthy habitat for local animal and plant species. Qualified professionals can guide you in how to remove and control these weeds safely. A little investment of time and energy gives you a healthy and beautiful lake or pond that you can enjoy for years.