Invasive Species Highlight: Torpedograss
November 27th, 2018
Written by Industry Expert Robert Truax, Natural Resources Scientist
Many southern states experienced Torpedograss infestations this year. Torpedograss (Panicum littorale), also known as quack grass and bullet grass, is an invasive species that was first introduced to the United States in 1876 near Mobile, Alabama. It has since spread throughout the South.
Torpedograss is a perennial grass, and the first step to proper control is correctly identifying it. It can grow up to three feet tall and, unlike some grasses, is commonly identified by its creeping rhizomatous root structure and rigid sharp pointed (torpedo-like) tips. Upper leaf sheaths can also have hairs on their upper edges. A unique characteristic used to identify torpedograss are the long hairs near the base of the leaf (ligule).
Physical control techniques such as cutting and digging up the rhizomes may be employed, but complete eradication through physical control alone is often difficult due to the plant’s ability to reestablish from seeds.
Successful control of torpedograss can be achieved through precise herbicide applications by a licensed professional, performed alone or in conjunction with physical control.
Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond and fisheries management needs.
Robert Traux is a natural resources scientist focused on understanding the underlying principles of wildlife ecology and wildlife management strategies. In his role, he studies the limnological side of Florida’s ecosystem by collecting and analyzing many types of biological data. Rob is also accomplished in statistical analyses, wetland plant, fish and animal identification, project design and many other biological techniques that enhance his aquatics and terrestrial projects.
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. SOLitude Lake Management is a proud member of the Rentokil Steritech family of companies in North America.