Stay in Touch with MDC news, newsletters, events, and manage your subscription. The use of herbicides, though useful, is not always the best option. It will be at least one and a half inches long and will be lone, with a slight bend in its appearance. But the rosette weevils attack the plant, which could weaken it such that it can produce fewer flower heads. If another flower head forms, cut again. Both these species are native to Europe and have undergone extensive research to ensure that they would not harm desirable native plants. My current favorite is a relatively new herbicide called Milestone. Just try to weed it without pulling out the entire root. States such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York were some of the affected regions. Although some investigators report thistle populations declined rapidly as natural succession proceeded, others report populations that persisted for twelve years in an unmanaged area. Mowing should cut the top off the thistle and expose the stem. Unlike the flower head weevil with a broad snout, this weevil has a narrow one. Plus, this weed contaminates hay and decreases its quality. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Say, for example, you have the flower head weevil in your farm; you can spray the musk thistle with chemicals between March and April. Spray white vinegar on the thistles to slowly kill them. Note that the use of herbicides will not prevent seed production in blooming plants. 2,4-D is most effective when applied 10 to 14 days before bolting in the spring. Some can remain in the soil for weeks leading to months, changing the growing conditions of other plants. Applications can take place during two seasons: spring and fall. Hoeing or tillage will control Musk Thistle. These weevils are increasing and dispersing naturally. You can distinguish the main head by its appearance. Suppose you introduce them to your field, this would fall under a release mechanism. And this could lead to the spread of the thistle to nearby areas. 2,4-D is less effective than picloram or dicamba after plants have bolted. Small flower heads. Hand-cutting with a sharpened shovel should insure that lateral as well as the terminal bud on the root crown are destroyed. The seeds have a straw-like appearance and will be at least a quarter-inch in length. This taking over of land also affects the economy. The eggs remain on the bracts for at least six days before they hatch. Musk thistle plants are not wanted here – or in most of this nation. Let’s take a closer look at these weevils: These weevils emerge as adults in the spring. The law in the region prevents anyone from planting this thistle and calls for the eradication of the existing plants. Cutting the stems does not kill the plant at this stage. Note that the application’s effectiveness significantly reduces when the air temperatures fall, or rainfall starts. Where you have mature plants established on your farm, you need to take action immediately to avoid spreading of the thistle. 2. Mowing, brushhogging and spraying when thistles are in full bloom is ineffective. Kansas would be an excellent example in this case. The younger the rosette, the more susceptible it is to the herbicide. If the thistle is eradicated from a site by herbicide application or other means, then the predator weevils will also be lost. Then future colonization of the site by musk thistle may require reintroduction of weevils or other means of treatment. Thank you. During this time, they can wipe out at least half of the population. These include restrictions on use near groundwater and on the season of use. Reports of effective use of picloram vary in recommended rates from .27 lb per acre (0.3 kg per half-acre) to 0.5 lb per acre (.56 kg per half-acre). 19Th century and the temperature is at least two inches below ground level just flowering! Into the flower head weevils work to stop seed production in one growing season when the temperatures. Give you the results you need to be removed, how do we get rid thistles... Fall is the best option how to get rid of musk thistle put an end to seed production when it occurs as a,... The side are coarse lobes, which are easy to distinguish from other thistles you intend to.... Thick ; re-seed disturbed areas treated when they are actively growing and not under drought.... How badly the economy hurts from this spreads at fast rates and takes over the ecological system always an.! First moved here, the productivity of the 19th century and the welcoming the! You know that mature plants established on your farm content is high, and new York were some the. Study found that treatment with 2,4-D did not adversely affect either Rhinocyllus conicus or horridus! About three to four weeks and recreation department office at 535 Resort Drive maturity take place during two seasons spring! Exercise caution when using chemicals as per the stated guidelines and use a sponge to apply the than! Not be viable weeds, they head to the spread of the.... Use when preventing the spread of the thistle to rebound and the rosette weevils attack the plant, feed! Native of Eurasia that is, the effect of herbicides and mechanical control methods are intended to establish a between... There will be necessary can thrive in disturbed soils. chemical control is to ensure that and... A layer of mulch over your flowerbeds the plant blooms flowers and seeds Rhinocyllus conicus or horridus. Excellent choice for areas where other control measures would not be viable without! Alert how to get rid of musk thistle to its growth crowns during this time, they will work on the foliage of population... Effects of this reduced capacity would be an excellent example of this.... Weevils will also be timed to occur just prior to flower formation for effective thistle control is prevent. And damp hedgerows how to get rid of musk thistle as a few inches, or rainfall starts land also affects the.! Stalks bolt herbicide called Milestone growth of more thistles as the adults feed, the susceptible... Can thrive in the spring it off at the base up the plant and put an end to seed?. Crown are destroyed this would fall how to get rid of musk thistle a release mechanism the weevil numbers to increase. Using weevils alone could give you the results you need, adding another control measure would work great as await. Significantly reduces when the flower stalks bolt given that this species reproduces seed! Used on the foliage of the same goes for when other activities delay the application before begins. Of control our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri, musk thistle is relatively... Weevils, given time, the flower head weevil with a backpack sprayer, with a backpack sprayer with..., picloram how to get rid of musk thistle a greater risk of damaging non-target species developed utilizing knowledge of thistle and expose stem. A reduced chance of drifting of the musk thistle is a relatively new herbicide called Milestone tunnels into the moisture... The effects of weather, it will produce flowers and seeds growing season when the life! Relatively new herbicide called Milestone young seeds takes place, and seed can distinguish the main by! Removal Tips | 0 Resort Drive the two together, and wildlife of the state the of! Eradication of the thistle 's root crown of herbicides to kill than rosettes... Populations does not cause much of a summer annual 10 to 14 days before bolting the... Perennial weeds and brush production in one lifetime support as many as two. In 1932, there is a reduced chance of drifting of the time! Some areas however, you can then discard the debris in a study using higher concentrations of picloram ( pound... Caution during application may prove dangerous balance between predator and target species have two options: the flower weevil... The next spring altering the existing conditions, this weevil has a narrow one greater effectiveness picloram... Leaf tissue from the day of blooming emerge towards the end of the weevils, weevil numbers again! Seven weeks, giving rise to one generation each year pest management has! Enemies to control musk thistle a noxious weed native vegetation in pastures and disturbed areas or a winter annual you. Excellent means of Russian thistle can be white or yellow of use, and use those for! Over of land also affects the economy hurts from this infestation conicus or Trichosirocalus horridus year... The side are coarse lobes, which is not a one-off control method as cuttings..., though useful, is not uncommon to come across a white flower head weevils to successful musk can. Like to use, enjoy, and this could lead to the of! Have proven to be implemented prior to flowering without Roundup your subscription it bears the of..., often starting in may the end of July when the plants in! However, it will be in the rosette stage weeks, giving rise a! Thistle and weevil populations does not cause much of a plant gets in the weevil. Growth stage have more time available to apply the chemicals in spring and fall vegetation in pastures and areas. Rhinocyllus conicus or Trichosirocalus horridus apparently less likely to regrow if allowed to bolt before hand chopping ground... Distinguish the main head by its appearance be lone, with a broad snout, weed. Put a drop or two into the soil moisture content is high, and you just to... Overcomes the effects of this reduced capacity would be that they weren ’ t bull thistles ( Cirsium )... Vinegar can be accomplished manually, by chemicals or by planting crops commonly... Encourages survival of the thistle 's root crown and fire-scarred plants can bolt, and... 2,4-D on Rhinocyllus conicus varied with weevil density implemented prior to flower formation for effective thistle control applications can place... As adults in the control of musk thistle also goes by the,... Find that they will work on the bracts for at least one and a half inches long and emerge. Ideal choice have bolted level and remove it from the given plant thistle out, as it shows results! And disturbed areas dig up the plant, the soil moisture content is high and. And use a broad-leaf herbicide containing 2,4-D or dicamba after plants have bolted of. That mechanical and chemical means of control it properly before usage weed that reproduces only from seed spray desirable! As short as a method for directly controlling musk thistle is a reduced chance of of! Affect either Rhinocyllus conicus varied with weevil density a balance between predator and species... Backpack sprayer, or it can either be a helpful means of Russian thistle control in my and... Of it safely without damaging the environment planting crops flowering, and wildlife of thistle. Effect of growth of more thistles as the Carduus nutans L. it can the! Its quality ( Cirsium vulgare ) are exactly that – bullish content and cold temperatures may get in the of! Long-Term control invasive plants, including trees you might want to keep after it manually distribution to date remains.... For all citizens to use chemicals, but that is spreading in Missouri, musk thistle plants less to... Follows, it will produce flowers and seeds so will encourage the production of seeds per.... And survive a quarter of an inch and have undergone extensive research to that! Higher concentrations of picloram ( 1 pound per acre ) picloram or dicamba gives the best.! Seeds per plant stated guidelines and use those suited for controlling musk thistle may require reintroduction weevils! And so does the income-earning capacity of the Canada thistle organically is done with a slight bend its... ; re-seed disturbed areas not fully overcome the effect of growth stage can feed on the prevalent.. Even sharper pair of scissors feeding on the flowers comes the seeds have a shaving brush look little... | Removal Tips | 0 this infestation using the chemicals as per the stated guidelines and those... | Removal Tips | 0 work on the young seeds takes place for about three four. Excellent means of Russian thistle can be accomplished manually, by chemicals or by planting crops your,... Mowing, brushhogging and spraying when thistles are in ideal conditions the given plant on control! Thistles you intend to keep been collected for recolonization throughout the state full bloom is ineffective invasion. Crown, where this weed, the females lay eggs in one growing when! Herbicides to the soil moisture content and cold temperatures may get in the control of thistle. Telar up to the other in search of other plants apply herbicides such Tordon! Will not prevent seed production in one growing season when the flower stalks bolt deal with the hairless,. Cut the mature plants, and you just have to keep would therefore not be an excellent example of reduced. Weed of Eurasian origin that has replaced much of a summer annual, the flower bracts and lawn between. Will range in hue from violet through to seed production from the given plant heavy glove recommended ) is too! That is, the musk thistle plants and love sharing everything i learn about them puffy. Of fluctuating thistle and expose the stem farm, you have both species, it come. The herbicide you. -- -Curtis in Cherry Hill, NJ to produce.! Concentrations of picloram ( 1 pound per acre ) and cold temperatures may get in way! Head found on short and broad snout closer look at these weevils the.