Identification Procedures

What To Do About New Weeds

  1. If you know them, report them.
    Please report plants that are new to an area if you don’t need help with them. We need to map Idaho’s weeds to plan our strategy. Your reports are important.
  2. If you don’t know them, request identification.
    1. What to send:
      Plants are identified by flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, stems, roots, and habitat. Send plants that have as many of theses plant parts as possible. Several plants are better than one plant.
    2. How to send it:
      Place the plant specimen in a plastic bag between dry paper towels without pressing or adding moisture and close the bag. Store it in a refrigerator until mailing or bringing it in. If mailing your specimen, mail early in the week so it won’t sit in a mailbox over the weekend.
    3. Where to send:
      Bring or mail your specimens to your nearest county extension office or weed superintendents office. If the county personnel are unable to identify the weed it will be forwarded to the Erickson Weed Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Idaho for identification.
  3. After you document them, get rid of them.
    1. If a weed is new to the area:
      Record its position to enable adequate reexamination of the site later. This is extremely importantly: Do this before you remove the weed!
    2. If no flowers or seeds are present:
      Pull the weed and place it off the ground to dry out.
    3. If flowers or seeds are present:
      Pull the weed carefully to prevent seeds from falling. Place the weed in a plastic bag or container to retain seeds. Dispose of weeds by burning them or taking them in closed garbage bags to a sanitary landfill.


© 1999 University of Idaho: Text and photographs for these pages from Idaho’s Noxious Weeds, by Robert H. Callihan and Timothy W. Miller (revised by Don W. Morishita and Larry W. Lass).

Please contact: Ag Publishing, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-2240; (208) 882-7982; [email protected]; or visit the UI Extension/CALS Publications and Multimedia Catalog website at, for more information about this or other publications.