Invasive Plant Control Database

Welcome to the Invasive Plant Control Database

This website contains information on how to control many invasive plants common to the Midwestern United States. Information was collected from both scientific literature and expert opinions and summarized by the Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN), in partnership with the Mark Renz lab from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Methods that are uncommon, do not provide sufficient control, or lack information for determining effectiveness on target species are omitted. For each species, information was reviewed by four individuals, including two identified as experts on control of that species. Information is searchable by several fields to improve the user’s ability to find pertinent information. To view the search feature, you must first select an invasive plant. Additionally, users have the option of entering personal experiences with managing specific species (see “add new case studies” under search results). These case studies will be visible to all users once verified by MIPN staff.

We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the information or products on the website. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. References to pesticide products on this website are for your convenience and are not an endorsement or guarantee of one product over another.

Step 1: Select Plant

Step 1: Select a species by choosing a common or scientific name from the list, or by typing a name in the search box.

    Reset Search

Step 2: Select Search Parameters

Step 2: Select search parameter(s) of interest. If no parameters are selected all control methods will be displayed. For effectiveness ratings, methods that meet or exceed the criteria selected will be displayed.

Under the Search Results you will find

  • Plant Identification information – information on species identification, including photographs and a current distribution map.
  • Ecological Threats – threats posed to natural ecosystems by this species.
  • Case Studies – Detailed success (and failures) on how to control specific species contributed by experienced personnel.
  • Non-chemical and chemical control methods that fit the selected search criteria. Please note you are responsible for using pesticides in accordance with the label directions and state and federal laws. Herbicide availability and registered uses vary from state to state. Contact your state department of agriculture for information on the correct use and licensing required for any pesticide application.

You may reset the search criteria or the species you have selected at any time by selecting the corresponding links on the right hand side of the page.

Are you a novice?: 

Habitat Type:





Seasons:



Effectiveness (in season): 


Effectiveness (year after treatment): 
  Reset Search Criteria

Search Results

Euphorbia esula (leafy spurge)

Plant Identification information >
Display Ecological Threats >
< Hide Case Studies              Add new user Case Study

Case Studies
No case studies are entered for selected plant.
Non-Chemical controls
New (Type)Description
Type -
Mowing

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Mowing does not eradicate leafy spurge, but if repeated at 2 to 4 week intervals during the growing season it can suppress populations and reduce seed production. Mowing can also provide uniform regrowth which can improve herbicide effectiveness. Populations should be allowed to grow for 3 to 5 weeks after mowing before an herbicide is applied.
Type -
Prescribed burning

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Spring burns can kill germinating seedlings and suppress above ground growth of established plants depending on fire intensity. Fire may benefit other species well adapted to this management (e.g. prairie grasses), resulting in improved competition with leafy spurge. A hand-held propane torch can be effective for treating seedlings. A combination of non-chemical and chemical methods typically takes 4-5 years to provide >95% suppression of a leafy spurge population.
Type -
Removal

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Pulling is only appropriate for suppression of very small populations or populations in their first year of growth. Older populations do not respond well to pulling because it is difficult to remove the entire root. If the root is not removed it will resprout. Wear gloves when hand-pulling.
Type -
Grazing

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Grazing with sheep or goats can be used to suppress populations. Grazing when bracts are present, but before seeds are produced has shown the greatest reduction in spurge biomass. If mature seeds are consumed animals must be isolated until the seeds pass through the digestive system to prevent further spread of seed. Grazing in conjunction with a fall chemical treatment is very effective. This combination of methods typically takes 4-5 years to provide >95% suppression of a leafy spurge population.
Type -
Manipulation of the environment

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Interseeding with competitive grass can suppress leafy spurge populations up to 80% once he grasses become established. This treatment will rarely control leafy spurge, therefore integrating this method with another control method is recommended.
Type -
Biocontrol

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
There are 3 common agents for biological control of leafy spurge. Commonly recommended agents are Aphthona nigriscutis, A lacertosa, and A. czwalinae. The larvae of these agents are root borers and feed on foliage as adults. Grazing in conjunction with biological control has been shown to be very effective. This combination of methods typically takes 4-5 years to reduce leafy spurge cover to 0%. Contact your local department of agriculture for information on permits for the release of biological control agents.
Type -
Cultivation

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Intensive cultivation can eradicate populations. Cultivate 4" deep 2 to 4 weeks after leafy spurge emerges in the spring and continue at 3 week intervals until the ground freezes for 1 to 2 years. Success has also been documented if leafy spurge is cultivated repeatedly in the fall when it reaches 3-6" tall for 3 years. Cultivation can spread roots into previously uninfested areas.
Chemical controls
New (Type)IngredientsDirections
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
picloram + 2,4-D

Common product name:
Tordon 101
Rate -
(broadcast) 128 fl oz/A (picloram: 0.5 lb a.e./A + 2,4-D: 2 lb a.e./A)
(spot) 0.5 - 1% (picloram: 0.003 - 0.006 lb a.e./gal + 2,4-D: 0.01-0.02 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply to flowering plants or in the fall before a killing frost.

Remarks -
2 - 3 years of repeated applications may be needed for control.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Remains in the soil for over one year depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water during this timeframe. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas this product is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
glyphosate

Common product name:
Roundup Pro; many others (Aquatic: Rodeo; AquaNeat)
Rate -
(broadcast) 1 - 1.5 lb a.e./A
(spot) For a 3 lb a.e/gal product. 2% (0.06 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply twice a year. First, to plants when seeds are forming and then again in the fall during regrowth before a killing frost.

Caution -
Use product labeled for aquatic use if potential exists for solution to contact surface waters. Applications can result in bare ground as glyphosate is not selective. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
aminocyclopyrachlor + chlorsulfuron

Common product name:
Perspective
Rate -
(broadcast) 4.75 - 5.5 oz/A (aminocyclopyrachlor: 1.9 - 2.15 oz a.i./A + chlorsulfuron: 0.75 - 0.87 oz a.i./A)
(spot) 0.2 - 0.3 oz/gal (aminocyclopyrachlor: 0.08 - 0.12 oz a.i./A + chlorsulfuron: 0.03 - 0.05 oz a.i./A)

Timing -
Apply to flowering plants or in fall before a killing frost. Fall applications show the most consistent results.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Avoid using Perspective in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow as groundwater contamination may result. Perspective remains in the soil for months depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water, especially on poorly draining soils or areas with shallow groundwater. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas Perspective is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
dicamba

Common product name:
Banvel; Clarity
Rate -
(broadcast) 64 - 128 fl oz/A (2 - 4 lb a.e./A)
(spot) Equivalent to broadcast rates.

Timing -
Apply to flowering plants or in fall before a killing frost. Fall applications show the most consistent results.

Remarks -
2-3 years of repeated applications are typically needed. If repeated this treatment can achieve over 80% control.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Rates > 16oz/A (0.5 lb a.e./A) may cause stunting and discoloration of sensitive grasses, such as smooth brome.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
quinclorac

Common product name:
Drive; Paramount
Rate -
(broadcast) 8 - 16 oz/A (6 - 12 oz a.i./A)
(spot) Equivalent to broadcast rates.

Timing -
Apply in spring up to bract formation (before flowers) or in fall before a killing frost.

Remarks -
Add methylated seed oil (MSO) to the mixture as per label instructions. 3-4 year of repeated applications may be needed.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Remains in soil for up to one year depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water during this timeframe. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Novice

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
2,4-D

Common product name:
Many (Aquatic: DMA 4 IVM; 2,4-D Amine 4)
Rate -
(broadcast) 1 - 1.5 lb a.e./A
(spot) For a 3.8 lb a.e/gal product. 1 - 2% (0.04 - 0.08 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply twice a year. Once during late bud stage when bracts begin to yellow and again in the fall when re-growth is 4-6" tall.

Remarks -
This herbicide will not eliminate a population when used as the only control method, even after 10 years of application, but can be a useful when paired with other control methods. The use of 2,4-D in the spring will eliminate the production of seed.

Caution -
Use aquatically labeled product if potential exists for solution to contact surface water. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
imazapic

Common product name:
Plateau
Rate -
(broadcast) 6 - 12 fl oz/A (0.1 - 0.2 lb a.e./A)
(spot) 0.25 - 1% (0.005 - 0.02 lb a.e./gal)

Timing -
Apply in fall before a killing frost.

Remarks -
Add methylated seed oil (MSO) to the mixture as per label instructions.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Imazapic can remain in the soil for months depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water during this timeframe. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas Imazapic is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
Aminocyclopyrachlor + Metsulfuron

Common product name:
Streamline
Rate -
(broadcast) 4.75 - 5.5 oz/A (aminocyclopyrachlor: 1.9 - 2.15 oz a.i./A + metsulfuron: 0.6 - 0.7 oz a.i./A)
(spot) 0.2 - 0.4 oz/gal (aminocyclopyrachlor: 0.08 - 0.16 oz a.i./gal + metsulfuron: 0.03 - 0.05 oz a.i./gal)

Timing -
Apply to flowering plants or in fall before a killing frost. Fall applications show the most consistent results.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Avoid using Streamline in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow as groundwater contamination may result. Streamline remains in the soil for months depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water, especially on poorly draining soils or areas with shallow groundwater. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas Streamline is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided, as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.
Type -
Foliar

User Type -
Professional

Effectiveness -
in season
year after treatment
Active Ingredient (A.I.):
picloram

Common product name:
Tordon K; Trooper 22K
Rate -
(broadcast) 32 - 64 fl oz/A (0.5 - 1 lb a.e./A)
(spot) Equivalent to broadcast rates.

Timing -
Apply to flowering plants or in fall before a killing frost.

Remarks -
2-4 years of repeated applications may be needed for control depending on rate selected.

Caution -
Do not apply directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. Use of this chemical in areas where soils are permeable, particularly where the water table is shallow, may result in groundwater contamination. Remains in the soil for over one year depending on application rate and has the potential to contaminate surface runoff water during this timeframe. Maintenance of a vegetative buffer strip is recommended between the areas picloram is applied and surface water features. Overspray or drift to desirable plants should be avoided as even minute quantities of the spray may cause severe injury to plants. Do not compost treated plants as herbicide can persist through composting process.