Control Options For Homeowners:
Before attempting to control mile-a-minute, please contact one of the individuals listed on the “Contacts” page, or use the online reporting form to inform UConn of the suspected new population. Mile-a-minute is frequently confused with other vines, so it is important to be sure the plant has been identified correctly before attempting to remove it from your yard or garden.
Mechanical (hand pulling and mowing):
For small populations (less than ¼ acre of mile-a-minute), control can often be accomplished by hand-pulling. The earlier the plants are pulled, the better: the barbs become sharper as the plant matures, and the fast growth rate can mean bags and bags of vegetative material will need to be removed if the plants are left to grow until late summer. Plants pulled early in the season are much smaller and easier to manage.
Frequent mowing can also be very effective. Mowing is best done in May-June, when the plants have not started to set seed. If seeds are present when the plants are mowed, the mower should be inspected and cleaned thoroughly after use to avoid spreading seeds to new locations. Additionally, it is important that field edges and other areas where vines may still remain after mowing be inspected and controlled as well.
A note about seeds: Mile-a-minute is an annual and reproduces by seed—roots do not persist through the winter. Continued presence of mile-a-minute in a location is due to seeds from the previous year, not from plants regrowing from roots. Care should be taken to dispose of pulled or cut materials properly, using the following guidelines, to minimize the potential for further spread by seed.
1. Minimize movement of the plants. Vegetative material (with no fruits) can be pulled and can be left on-site if possible. Vegetative material can be composted.
2. Mile-a-minute spreads by seed. Even small, green seeds can still germinate. Seeds should not be composted, as composting may not kill seeds. Seeds have been known to germinate after long periods in the soil (up to 7 years), so it is important to check and re-check the area frequently to be sure that all the plants have been removed and follow up in later years, or the problem could begin all over again.
Chemical Control (herbicides):
In general, hand-cutting, pulling, or mowing can be more effective, cheaper, and less damaging to ecosystems and other species than herbicides. However, in areas with large mile-a-minute populations, or where location or access makes hand-pulling or mowing difficult or impossible, herbicides may be a viable option. Contact your local garden center for information on herbicides.