Stop Kudzu Before It Takes Over

Stop Kudzu Before It Takes Over

Kudzu is almost everywhere you look in many parts of the U.S. It covers trees, buildings, fences and telephone poles-as much as seven million acres. It spreads at a rate of 120,000 acres a year.

“Kudzu is an annoying vine that can grow as much as a foot in 24 hours,” says Lance Walheim, Bayer Advanced™ garden expert, who wrote the book “Lawn Care for Dummies” and is a regular contributor to Sunset magazine. “If left unmanaged, it can take over and choke trees that have taken decades to grow.”

In 1876, the Japanese introduced the fast-growing vine to the United States at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In the 1930s, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service decided the vine helped prevent soil erosion and developed 85 million kudzu seedlings. The government offered farmers an acre to plant the vine and it took off.

In the 1940s, an Atlanta newspaper columnist and radio host named Channing Cope started Kudzu Clubs and called it the “miracle vine.” Times have changed, however. The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared kudzu a weed in 1972. The National Park Service says the weed causes more than 0 million a year in damage.

“There’s a reason kudzu is nicknamed ‘the vine that ate the South,’ ” says Walheim.

How can you kill kudzu before it takes over your yard? Bayer Advanced™ PowerForce® Brush Killer Plus Concentrate kills kudzu, as well as poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and 70 other types of weeds and brush-roots and all. It begins to work in one to three days. It’s now available in a ready-to-use gallon bottle that includes a built-in nested sprayer. As with all pesticides, use and follow label directions. Certain hard-to-kill weeds may require a repeat application if regrowth occurs.