It’s that time of year again…the Dog-strangling Vine seed pods are drying and opening, releasing the hordes of invasive demon seeds upon silky hairs. It is far too easy to spread DSV through its seeds if not practising above-average due diligence outdoors.
Here are some tips to try and reduce the chances you’ll unknowingly introduce this pest to a new location:
- Keep Fido on a leash, and on the trail. FWG is actually an on-leash area, and you could be fined if caught. We try and cut DSV close to the paths, but if your dog goes crashing off into the under brush he might come back with an unwanted additional furry coat.
- Brush Fido off carefully when ready to load back in your vehicle. Check for seeds on his paws and coat. Inspect your car to see if snuck got in.
- Check your own clothes and boots. Many of our volunteers have one pair of work boots they use at FWG and a second pair for hiking in other locations. Seeds get trapped in mud and can become caked on unknowingly, or become lodged in clothes. The diligent among the volunteers have found seeds on their outerwear when returning home, so it does happen to the best of us! Doing these checks is actually best practice for visiting any wild space.
- Remind other dog walkers in the parking lot that they should be checking themselves and fido for seeds. Managing the spread of DSV is a group effort!
Hopefully, if these tips are followed we can limit the spread of DSV through human activity. These rules apply for many different kinds of invasive plant, but DSV is one of the easiest to accidentally carry about. The only real benefit of the pods changing colour is it can become easier for some people to identify the plant in their gardens and remove it. Carefully bin any parts of the plant and seeds and put out in the garbage.