Weeds That Can Cause Health Problems

27 Jan '21

Poison ivy.


Weeds are mostly known for their unsightly appearance. After all, no one wants a lawn full of overgrown weeds covering up their well-groomed grass. Many of the weeds that you’ll find on your property are completely safe. Nutsedge and purslane are even edible. 

This doesn’t mean that you should get too comfortable with weeds. They spread fast and quickly destroy your property’s landscaping. Arizona is also home to a growing list of weeds that are dangerous to humans, wildlife and other plants.

If you’ve ever had a case of poison ivy, then you’ve got first-hand knowledge of what a dangerous weed can do. Skin rashes are only the beginning of the risks associated with certain types of weeds. These are just a few of the reasons why you want to keep them off of your property.

Weeds That Cause Allergic Reactions


Seasonal allergies are often caused by pollen from nearby weeds that spreads through the air. Ragweed is one of the main culprits for causing sneezing and congestion among Arizona residents. While sinus symptoms are annoying, weed allergies can quickly become life-threatening.

People with asthma, COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases can experience difficulty with breathing after being exposed to pollen from weeds.

Skin reactions are another threat that weeds pose. Poison ivy and poison oak are well-known for the blistering skin rash they cause. Phoenix also has several other types that can cause painful skin symptoms. 

Scorpion weed.

Scorpion weed is another plant that can generate a similar rash. It has hairs along the stem and leaves that are coated with an irritating oil. Brushing against this weed can transfer the oil to your clothing or pets fur and increase the risk of it spreading. The itchy rash it causes can last for more than a week.

Protect Pets and Wildlife from Poisonous Weeds

Most humans know better than to eat unidentified weeds from outside, but animals don’t always understand the danger. Jimsonweed is a plant that is poisonous to humans and animals. Ingesting the plant can cause a rapid heartbeat, hallucinations and fever. 

Silverleaf nightshade.

Silverleaf nightshade is another dangerous weed that affects horses, cattle and humans. It contains solanine in the leaves and fruit. Diarrhea, seizures and colic are a few signs that an animal might have ingested this plant.

Dogs are susceptible to poisoning from plants that may not seem dangerous. Yellow oleander is often cultivated for decorative purposes. When it grows wild, your pet could develop cardiovascular or gastrointestinal distress if they eat it.

Yellow oleander.

Whether you have a small backyard or an extensive landscape, checking it regularly for noxious weeds is important for keeping animals safe.

Preserve Desirable Plants from Invasive Weeds

Invasive weeds are a growing problem throughout both rural and urban communities. These weeds pose the risk of choking out desirable plant life. In addition to ruining the appearance of your landscaping, allowing these weeds to spread has an impact upon the environment. For instance, nuisance weeds are sometimes responsible for erosion in areas where native grasses would normally help with soil loss.

Weeds That Can Cause Health Problems Video


Some weeds are easily identified by their characteristic appearance. You might be able to quickly pick out poison ivy in the yard. Other weeds are harder to identify. When in doubt, get weeds checked out. An inspection by one of our professional weed control specialists will keep people and nearby animals safe from harm.


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