Help eradicate Moth Plant in Kaipatiki!
This summer, Pest Free Kaipātiki are targeting Moth Plant (pictured) in our community — while it is in flower and before the seed pods burst. Moth Plant is a pest vine. It strangles other vegetation, traps monarch butterflies in its sticky sap. The seed pods contains about 600+ seeds that can be dispersed by the wind more than 30 kms across Auckland. We need your help to get this pest plant under control… Have you seen Moth Plant in your neighbourhood? You can do your bit by helping in the following ways:
Keep a look out for moth plant - especially those with flowers or pods
Encourage others to join the fight to control moth plant by sharing information and talk about it on social media
Remove small plants by the roots. Moth plants in loose soil can easily be pulled out by the roots. Be sure to wear gloves and avoid getting sap on your skin or clothes. (IMPORTANT: If root fragments can't be pulled out, you should apply a herbicide gel to the stem or it will grow back. See Moth Plant brochure for recommended herbicides).
Pick up some Moth Plant brochures from your local library (download the online version of the Auckland Council Moth Plant brochure) OR see the North Shore Forest & Bird Weed Control Guide to find out which herbicides to use and how to use them.
Talk to neighbours with Moth Plant growing on their property - give them a brochure, so they can learn how to remove it safely - or offer to help them remove it
If you see a larger infestation too big for you to tackle (either on private land or a public reserve) tell us - so we can coordinate a team volunteers to remove it. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call our Moth Plant coordinator on 021-240-9414 or tell us the location on the Pest Free Kaipātiki group Facebook page.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: How to Dispose of Moth Plant seed pods Because this is a serious pest weed and we need to prevent the seeds from germinating, it is recommended by the Kaipātiki Local Board that you dispose of these pods by putting them in your general rubbish (not in garden bins, or compost bin). Wrap them well in sturdy plastic bags so they don't spread from landfill and decompose quicker.
We are looking for Moth Plant volunteers - can you help? We are looking for volunteers across the Kaipatiki Local Board area to help identify, report and respond to moth plant infestations in your area.
Can you spare an hour or so a week to help educate, coordinate or be part of a Moth Plant removal team in your area?
Moth Plant needs to be disposed of properly, to prevent reinfestation - and safely, by wearing protective clothing at all times. Small plants can be dealt with pulled out by the roots, but larger vines can require a team of volunteer “MothBusters” to cut back, poison or remove the pods. A group called S.T.A.M.P. (Society Totally Against Moth Plant) are mapping Moth Plant across Auckland and have a Facebook page to report locations. Pest Free Kaipatiki plan to deal with the sightings and coordinate the removal of moth plant in the Kaipātiki area, but we need your help. Tasks you could help with include:
Education - following up on reported sightings by talking to property owners or tenants; so they understand why and how it needs to be removed (leaving them a Moth Plant brochure, so they have information on how to remove them properly and safely).
Monitoring - help PFK identify and track moth plant sites in Kaipatiki (with the help of S.T.A.M.P.’s map and Facebook page)
Moth Plant removal - join a "MothBusters" team to visit moth plant sites to remove plants and pods (safely).
If you’d like to volunteer, send us your details on the Contact Us page, or ring our coordinator on 021-240-9414.
Moth plant on a fence in Northcote - spotted, reported and removed by a volunteer. Nice work! / Photo: Petra Kent.