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The Giant hogweed, an invasive species

What is an invasive species?

Plants, animals or other organisms that do not naturally occur in a country, but are brought in by human activity, are called invasive species. Some feel so at home in their new environment that they establish themselves in nature and multiply, becoming invasive and sometimes harmful to the native flora and fauna. 

The giant hogweed is such an invasive species and is increasingly seen as a problem, partly due to the harmful effect of the toxic substance in the sap of the plant on the skin and eyes. It also stunts the growth of other plants which cannot survive under its large canopy, eventually causing the soil to deteriorate in quality and become susceptible to erosion. Along watercourses, this is a major problem for embankments, levees, and flood defences.

The giant hogweed has been on the European Union’s list of invasive species since August 2017, making control of this weed mandatory in all European Union countries.

How do you control giant hogweed?

Methods to control the giant hogweed are:

  • Hoeing
  • Mowing
  • Grazing 

In order to make the control even more effective, a hand auger was developed in collaboration with Landscape Management Flevoland to remove the roots: the giant hogweed auger.

The giant hogweed auger removes the roots of the giant hogweed ergonomically and effectively, preventing the plant from germinating again. For effective control, it is advisable to remove the roots from the non-flowering specimens both in the spring, before they start flowering, and in the autumn.

Important when controlling giant hogweed

Always use protective clothing when removing the giant hogweed. This includes wearing:

  • Gloves
  • Long trousers
  • Long sleeves

Many people are sensitive to the toxic substance of the giant hogweed, so protection is key.

More information about the Hogweed Auger

Want to learn more about the Hogweed Auger or order one? Check the extensive product page, watch the video below or contact one of our specialists.


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