Must-Know Facts About Poisonous Giant Hogweed

Gwen Vasquez
June 21, 2018

It is included on Alabama's list of noxious weeds but has not been reported in the state.

As per CBS, the researchers have discovered just a single sighting of the plant in Clarke County, however, they have said that the invasive plant are also spread across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

"If you come into contact with giant hogweed: Skin reactions vary, but phytophotodermatitis can occur, meaning the sap makes the skin so sensitive to sunlight that sever burns can occur from normal exposure to sun".

Officials in Virginia have confirmed a giant weed that can cause third-degree burns and blindness has been found in the state. When these chemicals come into contact with human skin, it can cause a reaction that makes skin extremely sensitive to light. This reaction can result in painful blisters that leave purple or black scars on the skin for months. "The phototoxic reaction can begin as soon as 15 minutes after contact, with sensitivity peak between 30 minutes and two hours after contact".

To learn about the identification of giant hogweed and compare it to common look-alikes, check out the NYDEC site here. Mark Sutphin, the extension agent at the Frederick County Virginia Cooperative Extension says the plants in Emma's yard tower over him-and he's six feet tall.

On the website of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Environmental Conservation has issues notice in which it has asked all the residents of the area to be cautious about the plant and said, " Do Not Touch this Plant".

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Sightings have also been reported in the Staunton area and Middlesex County, the Isle of Wight County posted to Facebook. Compresses soaked in an aluminum acetate mixture - available at pharmacies - can provide relief for skin irritations.

Blindness can occur if the sap manages to get into the eyes.

These pesky plants spread when birds and waterways carry seeds to new locations. Each plant can shed thousands of seeds which remain viable in the soil for years.

If you happen to find giant hogweed out in the wild, don't take a weed wacker to it, as it can dangerously spray the sap around. Seek advice from professional plant control specialists about management options. Wash these clothes separately from others with warm water and detergent.

Knowing what to look for and how to handle it could help you avoid a serious injury.

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