Goat Heads Officially Banned From Utah


Are you tired of flats from Goat Heads? One recent change in Utah state rules will help in the reduction of this terrible weed.

Goat Heads or puncturevine is now classified by the State of Utah for listing as a class C noxious weed. This was the result of a long advocacy project led by Cycling Utah.

The weed was considered for the noxious weed list in 2015 and was added officially on February 2, 2016.

Puncturevine is now a class 3 containment weed statewide.

From the Utah state rules website, this is defined as:

Class 3: Containment

Declared noxious and invasive weeds not native to the State of Utah that are widely spread. Weeds listed in the containment noxious weeds list are known to exist in various populations throughout the state. Weed control efforts may be directed at reducing or eliminating new or expanding weed populations. Known and established weed populations, as determined by the weed control authority, may be managed by any approved weed control methodology, as determined by the weed control authority. These weeds pose a threat to the agricultural industry and agricultural products.”

The updated rules can also be found here:

The Utah Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Department is working on implenting a mobile phone app for reporting the location of noxious weeds. Cycling Utah will keep you updated on how cyclists can help with this effort in a future issue.

Help control Goat Heads:

  1. Place in the trash any Puncturevine seeds or burrs that get stuck in your tires, shoes, feet, etc.
  2. Pull any plants that you see and throw them away in the trash. You can dig them up to pull up the tap root too.
  3. Spray large infestations with herbicide (for a list, see http://slco.org/weeds/pdf/Puncturvine.pdf). This should be approached with caution, and as a last resort, since herbicides are toxic to you and the environment.
  4. Plant native plants, grasses, or ground cover in areas that have Puncturevine. Puncturevine establishes in barren ground, but is easily outcompeted by other plants with proper landscaping.
  5. Join a weed pull with the Jordan River Commission. http://jordanrivercommission.com/volunteer/
  6. Contribute to the Jordan River Commission’s Buy a Weevil Program. https://www.cyclingwest.com/advocacy/combat-puncture-vine-jordan-river-buy-weevil-volunteer/
  7. Learn more about Puncturevine: http://jordanrivercommission.com/species-spotlight-goatheads/ and http://slco.org/weeds/html/weedInfo/id/punctureVine.html
  8. If you find a Puncturevine infestation in Salt Lake County, either on public or private land, you can report it to the Salt Lake County Weed Control Program (http://slco.org/weeds/index.html). They will then send out a letter asking the property owner or public entity to clean up the infestation. Unfortunately, at this time, they aren’t ticketing the property owner if they fail to clean up the weeds. To report a Puncturevine infestion, visit http://slco.org/weeds/html/complaint/cForm.html
  9. In Washington County, contact SUBA (https://www.facebook.com/SouthernUtahBicycleAlliance) to participate in a weed pull.
  10. Use puncture resistant tubes, tires, and sealant where necessary.
  11. Read Colorado’s fact sheet on controlling goat heads (although the emphasize spraying)

Tips on dealing with goat heads and cycling: https://www.cyclingwest.com/tech/fall-is-the-best-time-for-cycling-and-goatheads/


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  1. The only time I saw this weed invade a private residence and get out of control was at the house of a very elderly lady. as her health declined the landscaping of her yard got worse but these goat head thorns got going before the normal Utah “weeds” did. So they became a problem early. while they did seem kept at bay somewhat by other plants and the lawn, they spread unabated, quite quickly, and very aggressively at the edge and near/along the property line. Soon the weed was trying to enter every neighbor’s yard.

    Instead of a fine, I felt like this situation would have been better resolved with clean up of the weed being done and then billing of the cost of cleanup sent to the resident. , maybe even discounted prices (by a state subsidy?) for elderly customers. The bill or fine might have been a hardship but with the problem dealt with and a bill for service, she could have not worried about the weed infestation. a fine might have been a smaller hardship but one she still needed to deal with. All while goat head weeds are expanding and that is something no one wants.


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