Taking action against invasive plants involves consideration of the various tools and techniques available for each plant and situation including site conditions, time of year, and resources available. Secondary and unintended consequences of control should also be considered.
The goal is to achieve effective long-term control and eventual restoration by using approaches that pose the least risk of harm to people - especially those conducting the work - and to the environment including non-target plants and wildlife. The bottom line is that the target species will be successfully controlled or at least reduced to a manageable level. This approach is referred to as integrated pest management (IPM).
Often, the most effective method may be to do nothing at all until a suitable safe and well-thought-out tactic can be found. Each method comes with its own set of risks. Use of herbicides poses risks and requirements associated with mixing, application, rinsing, disposal and storage. In order to avoid harm to yourself and others, to non-target plants and animals (including pets), and to the environment, especially in the case of an accidental spill, it is imperative that you are properly and sufficiently trained. No one should be applying herbicides without full knowledge about: 1) reading a pesticide label; 2) what the requirements for applying pesticides in your state are; 3) how to contact the company if there are questions about using the product; 4) how to measure the concentrate; 5) what type of personal protective equipment is required during mixing and application; 6) what type of application equipment is recommended and most appropriate to your situation; 7) calibration of spray equipment, 8) rinsing and cleaning sprayers; and 9) disposal of unused mix, concentrate and containers.
Pesticide use by homeowners on their own property requires that the pesticide be allowed for residential use and that the product is not a Restricted Use pesticide, meaning it can only be applied by a licensed applicator. Application of pesticides on public lands and other properties generally requires certification with the Department of Agriculture in your state, which involves training and testing. Contact the agency in your state responsible for pesticides for more information.
Additional methods and approaches are available and can be obtained by contacting organizations and specialists in the region. It is up to each individual to know and abide by the regulations applicable to the area where herbicide applications will be done. Use pesticides wisely: always read the entire pesticide label carefully, follow all mixing and application instructions and wear all recommended personal protective gear and clothing. Contact your state department of agriculture for any additional pesticide use requirements, restrictions or recommendations.