Wild parsnip a dangerous problem – Community Press – Ontario, CA

Wild parsnip a dangerous problem

MOE says onus is on residents, municipalities to deal with poisonous weed

By Megan Abraham

Posted 24 minutes ago

Megan Abraham

Community Press

Madoc Township – A resident here is warning people to stay away from an “awful” plant growing wild in the municipality.

Shirley Carroll still has a sore on her arm after coming in contact with wild parsnip growing on her property. Carroll said the plant is growing all over the township and should be cut down.

Carroll, who was unsure if the plant growing near her house was actually parsnip, rubbed a leaf on her arm a few weeks ago. Soon after, she said, it turned red “like a sunburn” and then developed painful blisters.

“I’m highly allergic,” she said. “It’s horrible stuff.”

According to the Ontario Weeds website, parsnip can grow practically anywhere. Touching the flowers or leaves of the plant can result in anything from a mild redness to blistering and burning sensations.

“What causes this, where did it come from, and is it crowding everything else out?” Carroll asked. “I’d like to see it sprayed.”

Ministry of the Environment media spokeswoman Kate Jordan said it’s up to private property owners and municipal governments to take care of the weed themselves.

“We don’t regulate plants on private property or in municipalities,” she said. “We do allow pesticide use to control poisonous plants, so that would include parsnip.”

Madoc Township council has considered using pesticides to get rid of the parsnip, said Clerk Bill Lebow, but decided it was “cost prohibitive.”

The municipality does, however, mow along roadways to keep weeds at bay.

Lebow said parsnip has become a headache in many places, not just Madoc Township.

“The problem with this stuff is that it’s everywhere,” he said. “It’s growing all over the place.”

Carroll said everyone should be educated about wild parsnip to ensure their safety.

“It’s very dangerous,” she said.

For more information about using pesticides to get rid of wild parsnip, visit the Ministry of the Environment website at www.ene.gov.on.ca

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