Why is it a problem?
It impacts on irrigation systems and increases management costs in crop
production systems. It also has a negative impact on biodiversity and tourism and is known to reduce fish production. Fishing nets also get caught in the thorns and it restricts access to water.
- Compromises irrigation systems
- Loss of land
- Reduces native biodiversity
- Negatively impacts livelihoods
What’s the solution?
Only mechanical methods that cut plants off at least 10 cm below ground level are effective as the plant resprouts quickly if cut off at ground level. As well as this, a variety of pesticides effectively control the weed if applied repeatedly.
Biocontrol research has unearthed an insect from the weed’s native range that only feed on Mimosa pigra. The adults feed on the leaves while the larvae develop on the roots. Fungal pathogens have also been introduced as biocontrol agents as they cause the weed to die back.