While it may sound more like something from a Harry Potter movie than a garden-dwelling pest, giant hogweed is far from a magical presence in your garden.
In fact, giant hogweed has the ability to cause serious damage, particularly if it comes into contact with human skin.
To keep you and your loved ones safe, here's everything you need to know about giant hogweed.
What is Giant Hogweed?
As the name suggests, giant hogweed has the ability to reach heights of over 3 metres, adorned in large, leafy stems and topped with white flowery clusters that are umbrella-like in appearance.
While it may be pleasing to the eye, don't let its innocent appearance fool you - it's hiding some serious dangers beneath its looks.
Originating in the Caucasus Mountains and Central Asia, this troublesome weed made its way over to the UK in the 19th century as an ornamental addition, much like Japanese knotweed.
However, unlike Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed can pose a variety of physical dangers as well as horticultural headaches.
Dangers of Giant Hogweed
A detailed description of giant hogweed makes it sound like some sort of sci-fi monster. In addition to its daunting height, it's also covered in fibrous hairs and coated in toxic sap. The sap itself is an extreme irritant which can burn the skin and even lead to potential sight loss if it gets in your eyes.
If the skin comes into contact with giant hogweed sap, the toxic substance reacts with sunlight to cause photodermatitis, leading to a red rash with painful blistering and scarring a common consequence.
Removing Giant Hogweed
As a foreign plant with strongly invasive tendencies, giant hogweed is classed as an invasive species, with a variety of legislation placed upon this harmful plant in order to control it.
Giant hogweed is even listed in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, meaning it's actually an offence to cause giant hogweed to grow in the wild in England and Wales.
If you find giant hogweed on your property, it's strongly advised you contact a specialist to conduct professional removal of the weed ASAP.
Attempting removal without expert knowledge can be dangerous. Cut plant debris and even contaminated clothing and tools used to remove it can still prove hazardous.
For safe eradication of giant hogweed from your property, call Taylor Total Weed Control today on 029 2039 7554 and cut your giant invader down to size without feeling the burn.
Contact Taylor Total Weed Control