Why TCWP Doesn’t Help With All Weeds/Pests And Who You Can Call For Help

Do you know who to call for all the various weeds & pests in Teton County?

With a name like “Teton County Weed and Pest” it is understandable that we would get calls about every household or yard problem imaginable. During a typical week, we may field calls from people complaining about rodents, bedbugs, giant ant hills, mysterious growths on aspen leaves, beavers girdling cottonwood trees, skunks under the porch, raccoons eating the cat food, dandelions going to seed in a neighbor’s yard, and of course, thistles, and mosquitoes.

Despite our title, TCWP does not have the solution for all of these problems.

Though it is frustrating to see a field of salsify prepared to blow seeds into your yard, this plant is not considered “noxious” and TCWP cannot require that it be treated.

 

Eriophyid mites cause leaf deformities on many ornamental plants. This is one of the many native “pests” that TCWP does not manage. But we know a few people who do, check our 2018 contact list.

What Teton County Weed & Pest Is:

TCWP is a county government district office under the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) that is tasked with developing programs to manage a finite number of plant and animal species that the WDA has designated “noxious” because they are ecologically or economically harmful to the state.

Field Bindweed Mountain Pine Beetles
Field Bindweed and Mountain Pine Beetles are designated noxious species in Wyoming because they are considered economically and ecologically harmful to the state.

In addition to these “designated” weed and pest species, Teton County has officially declared additional weed and pest species as noxious in our county. We receive funding from the WDA and taxpayers to develop programs for management of only the weed and pest species that have been officially designated or declared. This equals about 66 weeds and 7 pests.

Scentless chamomile Culex mosquitoes
TCWP has declared scentless chamomile and culex mosquitoes as noxious in Teton County.

A complete list of the designated and declared weeds and pests that we manage can be found on our website. Note that the list of weeds does not include dandelions, salsify, yellow sweetclover, and many other plants we might consider “weeds.” But it does include a few plants that have been intentionally planted in gardens because of their beauty.

Residents of Teton County are required to control any and all of these listed weed species on their property, and TCWP can help by creating a weed management plan for you, loaning you a backpack sprayer, and selling you herbicide at a discounted rate. A few of listed weed species are such a high priority for us to control, that if you have them on your property, we will treat them ourselves, but in general, we do not spray on private property.

Toadflax Dame’s Rocket Oxeye Daisy
Despite their apparent beauty, these ornamental plants are incredibly invasive and cause ecological harm when they escape into natural areas. Toadflax, Dame’s Rocket and Oxeye Daisy are noxious weeds in Teton County and must be treated.

The officially listed pests that we get complaints about in Teton County are mosquitoes, ground squirrels, and mountain pine beetles. Our board has elected to focus our control efforts on the mosquito because of the threat of West Nile Virus in our region. Since the Uinta ground squirrel and mountain pine beetle are native species that do not threaten human health, our board has mandated that we provide education on these pest species, but do not actively control them. Education includes assisting the public with finding control options if that is what is desired.

Uinta ground squirrel
The Uinta ground squirrel is a native species that can be pesky in gardens. Although it is a designated pest in the state of Wyoming, it is actively managed in Teton County.

For those would like to control a weed or pest on their property that TCWP does not control, we have created a list of public and private entities that provide consultation and/or treatment on private property. The list includes private contractors who spray weeds, treat tree diseases, fog for mosquitoes, trap mammals of all sizes, and manage all kinds of insects, inside and outside the home. This list also includes state agencies and county extension offices that provide free information and services in their specialty.

Check out the 2018 contractor list on our website.