A new invasive weed was found in Iowa for the first time. Mile-a-minute is a vine from eastern Asia, it has been found in mid-Atlantic U.S. states, but only as far west as Indiana or Kentucky and an exception in Oregon.
But last week, it was found in Marion County. Representatives from Iowa State University and the Iowa Department of Agriculture confirmed it has been there for nearly five years but say they don't know how widespread the infestation is.
Mile-a-minute can grow up to 20 feet long, has light green, triangular leaves, downward curving spines, as well as a blue fruit. It grows best in moist, sunny locations with lots of plant material. Seeds can be spread by animal or water and survive for up to eight years.
Herbicides can be effective to control it, but it takes multiple doses.
Iowans who think they have an infestation are encouraged to contact Bob Hartlzer at ISU at email@example.com or 515-294-1164, or Lane Kozel, deputy weed commissioner for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, at Lane.Kozel@iowaagriculture.gov or 515-725-1468 for assistance with identification.