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Cattails can help keep lakes and ponds healthy by filtering
runoff, reducing nutrients and preventing shoreline erosion.
Cattails provide nesting habitat for many species of wildlife and
birds. Animals such as beavers and muskrats, use cattails for a
variety of reasons, including food, den material, and as an escape
from predators. Fish species, including northern pike, may spawn
along or behind a cattail fringe.
Cattails account for nearly all pond owner complaints regarding
emergent plants. Cattails are known to spread rapidly, completely
surround ponds and extending several feet into the water creating a
monoculture. Established cattails populations accelerate the
transition from open water to a dominant emergent weed pond.
Cattails are highly attractive to
muskrats, a mammal that can damage a pond in some circumstances.
Dams and shorelines are vulnerable to their burrowing activities,
Cattails have flat to slightly rounded leaves that twist
slightly over their length and can grow to 5 or 10 feet in height.
Flowers form a dense dark brown, cigar-shape at the end of spikes
(called the catkin). Cattails can be partially submerged or in
boggy areas with no permanently standing water. Cattails spread
rapidly because their seeds blow in the wind and float on the
water's surface. Cattails also spread from underground
Look for the fuzzy brown "cattail" near the top of the stalk.
Leaves are long, flat, and about 1-inch wide.
A. Cattails should be treated when mature from
July to approximately one week before the first killing frost.
Cattails can be treated sooner but the need for a repeat
A. Yes, because the application is topical it
will only affect the cattails that are sprayed so you can choose to
control a percentage.
A. No, control can last anywhere from three to
five years or more depending upon if you treat all the cats or a
portion. Ninety plus percent of Cattails are controlled the first
year within the chosen treatment site. Some follow up is usually
required the second season.
A. Generally within ten days the tips will
begin to turn brown migrating towards the base. If you wish to
remove the treated Cattails wait at least two weeks post treatment
to insure that the root structure has been destroyed or just let
the cattails decompose.
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