BCW Program

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Contact Information

Bonneville County Noxious Weed Department prides itself in serving our community, lands, and friends in protecting our natural resources.  County tax payers should feel that our Department is utilizing our funding in the most efficient and cost effective ways.  

We would encourage anyone to contact our office, should you have any questions or concerns upon how our program operates.  You can always contact us at 208-529-1397 or email us with your questions/concerns at weeds@co.bonneville.id.us.  

Equipment rental program

Bonneville County has a great herbicide equipment rental program that can be used throughout the Snake River plain.

This program is the only way you can obtain the amount of herbicide for your individual job without purchasing a full, unopened container. By renting our quality equipment we can put the appropriate amount of herbicide for smaller acreage. Thus, you get the prescribed herbicide for the job and do not have extra, leftover herbicide around.

Eastern Idaho Sprayers and Equipment Rentals

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management is the best method of weed control.  Many parties believe that this is NOT using pesticides, in fact, it means using all aspects of weed control to manage noxious weeds, including using herbicides.  

Cultural or Preventative

This is the first line of defense when controlling weeds.  Prevention is when you maintain the property in good health, thus keeping the invader from getting started.

The single largest key to this is minimizing any soil disturbance.

  1. Manage driving techniques on the site by;
  2. Prevent ruts
  3. Don't Tear  up the ground - Tread Lightly
  4. Dig only when necessary
  5. Revegetate sites when necessary.  Here are some basic guidelines when reseeding a site.
  7. Don't Over or Under graze:
  8. In our area there is a simple rule-of-thumb, Take half / Leave Half.  
  9. Consider a football field (1 acre) or three basketball courts:
  10. Will sustain 1 horse, or two cows, or three sheep
  11. Water accordingly:
  12. When flood irrigating stop water flow from ditch prior to water getting to end of field.
  13. Certain noxious weeds at end of field such as Curley dock, Foxtail barley, Broadleaf and Narrowleaf plantains, Willows - indicate over watering
  14. Sprinkle irrigation is much more efficient than flood irrigation
  15. Communicate with neighbors
  16. Fertilize to maintain health:
  17. Many local Agriculture Dealers have large spreaders that can be pulled with tractors or some have ones that can be pulled by vehicle.  
  18. N - P - K  
  19. N - Nitrogen, promotes above ground growth - Apply in spring and mid summer
  20. P - Phosphate, Promotes healthy roots and plant Vigor - Apply in Fall and New seeding
  21. K - Potassium, Promotes stronger roots and root strength - Apply in Fall and New Seeding
  22. Manure is great for adding organics into the soil as long as it is broken down over time.
  23. Many new herbicides are not processed by the livestock, thus when applied to pastures, go in as herbicide and come out of the animal as herbicide.   If you collect the manure and compost it, the herbicide may still be in the manure and can be damaging to sensitive crops can occur.


This is your first line of defense.  

     Remember - a weed is a Plant out of Place - if you didn't plant it and you don't recognize it - dig it up by the root and bring it to our office for identification.

Methods of Mechanical Control:

*Pull the weed out of the ground, trying to get as much of the root as possible

                 always use gloves to ensure that the plant does not cause harm if it is                  poisonous (Poison hemlock will cause a bad rash on your hands)

*Dig up the weed with a shovel.  

               Push the shovel into ground on 4 sides of the weed, then slide shovel                 under plant to cut off root

 * Plowing or Disking

                 Make sure you have a revegetation plan prior to disturbing a large tract                 of land

Biological Control of Noxious Weeds  

Biological control is a portion of the integrated pest management program where either an animal (goats, sheep, livestock) or a specific insect is utilized to reduce the impact the weed is having on the environment.   There are two types of Bio Control:  Classical - where we help the native animal or insect increase in numbers to feed on the weed, or Non-Classical where non-native animals (generally insects) are brought into the country to feed on the weed, thus reducing the overall impact of the weed.

When non-native insects are utilized they have gone through extensive studies, some up to 10 years, to ensure (under APHIS) that this new non-native does not become a new invasive species itself.  University of Idaho has one of the leading biological control researchers in the United States, Professor Mark Schwartzlander.   Under his leadership Idaho is looking for numerous new insects as well as rearing many necessary insects so that they can be collected and shipped throughout Idaho.
      One particular location that has been established to assist Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest, is the Nez Perce BioControl Center located at Nez Perce Tribe in Lapwai,  Idaho. With their help collecting and distributing the needed insects, weed impacts have been reduced greatly.

The Bureau of Land Management is heavily invested in promoting the use of insects to combat invasive weeds.  Joey Milan, and entomologist with the BLM is a key source of information and training to weed manager across the great state of Idaho.    

BioControl should never be attempted without bringing in the County Weed Superintendent.  This is why!

  1. There is a science to ensuring the right insect is released to the right weed, in the right location, at the right time.  Furthermore, all non-native insects must be registered by APHIS and it is illegal to ship in non-approved biocontrol.
  2. The county will generally visit your desired site to ensure it is capable of hosting the insects.  Most weed patches need to be over 1/2 an acre in size with a 50% canopy cover to allow the insects to adapt to their new location.
  3. The inspection of the site, the collection or obtaining the insects, and the dispersal of the insect onto the newly determined site is generally done by the county at no cost to the landowner.

Do not hesitate to contact us to determine if your site is suited to release these biological control insects.

Frequently Asked Questions

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