What is a Noxious Weed

Noxious Weeds Introduction

Noxious weeds are especially problematic weeds. They possess one or more of the following attributes:

• Aggressive competition with cultivated plants

• Toxicity to livestock

• Natural habitat degradation

• Threat to public health, safety, or navigation

The Federal Noxious Weed Law (1974) controls the importation of weed species into the United States. Most states also have their own noxious weed laws. The goal of this Bulletin 866-98 is to aid in the identification of Ohio’s noxious weeds.

Ohio has several laws governing weed control. For a brief guide to these laws, see page 23. According to Ohio regulations, county and township officials may regulate noxious weeds on private property and public roadways. Authorities may issue a written notice to eradicate noxious weeds which are spreading or about to set seed. Upon receiving the notice, a resident has five days to comply or the weeds may be removed at the resident’s expense.

If you are concerned that noxious weed species may be on your property, this Bulletin 866-98 may help you identify them. Your county Extension office also may help you make a positive identification of these weeds. Weed control options are not provided in this Bulletin 866-98 because they change with the crop or situation. A list of OSU Bulletin 866-98s with weed control recommendations is provided on page 23. Your Extension agent also can suggest the best way to eradicate a noxious weed problem.

Ohio’s Noxious Weeds: http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/901%3A5-37

FOR CONTROL ALWAYS BE AWARE: treatment timing determines effectiveness of treatment!


Thank you to the following people for sharing slides, photographs, and information for this publication:

Arlyn W. Evans, Memphis, TN

David Madison, The Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry

Dr. Nathaniel Hartwig, The Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Mark Loux and Dr. Kent Harrison, The Ohio State University

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.

TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-6181


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Identifying Noxious Weeds of Ohio Copyright © by Bruce Ackley & Alyssa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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