Your Checklist for Preventing Mile-a-Minute

They might be blue but they aren't blueberries.

Three steps can help you protect your land from mile-a-minute infestation:

  • Learning to spot it. Remembering how to spot mile-a-minute will help you steer clear of it. Look for its perfectly triangular leaves on delicate, light-green stems (the stems may be red in older plants) that have barbs or prickles. Its fruits, which are blue and resemble blueberries, will appear in cone-shaped clusters.
  • Keeping it clean. Mile-a-minute fruits bear its seeds, and those seeds can survive in the soil—ready to germinate if the conditions are right—for as long as 6 years. So avoiding contact with seeds and being careful not to transport them is the best way to prevent infestation. If you’ve been in an infested area, make sure to inspect and clean shoes, clothing, vehicles, equipment, and anything else you have that has come into contact with the weed’s fruits or seeds.
  • Keeping an eye on it. Stay vigilant and act quickly if you see mile-a-minute growing on your land. The vine can grow up to 6 inches per day, so there’s no time to waste if you spot it.

The other important step you can take is to seek help. Your state, county or consulting foresters, the Forest Service, and your local cooperative extension service can all help you find the best options for protecting your woods from mile-a-minute.

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