FAQs Weed treatment

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How are weeds controlled?

Weeds are controlled using a herbicide called Glyphosate and in some cases removed manually. When the herbicide is applied to a weed, usually by spraying, it works its way through the plant killing it completely. On contact with soil the herbicide breaks down into harmless substances. The herbicides used have a very low toxicity to humans, animals and insects and can be used in areas open to the public and their pets. 

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How do I know whether my street is scheduled for weed control?

You can use the Council's District Map Service to check your street.


View My Street


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How do I report weeds on highways?

You can report weeds on highways to us via the online report system

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Is it legal to spray the herbicide chemical?

We regularly consult with independent experts for advice on weed control and related issues, to ensure that we’re fully up-to-date with changes in legislation, herbicide recommendations and commercial practice.

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My road has been sprayed but it has not killed the weeds?

We are restricted by which herbicide sprays we are allowed to use.  The type of spray we use enters the plant through its leaves and breaks down the weeds cell structure rather than killing it on contact.  The spray makes sure that all parts of the plant are destroyed and slows down any regrowth. This means that once the weeds have been sprayed it can take between 10 and 14 days for the herbicide to take effect.

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What is a weed?

A weed is a plant growing in a location where it’s not wanted. On our highways, any plants growing in pavements and kerbs or around drains and street furniture are weeds.

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Where are weeds treated?

All weeds on pavements, kerbs, and paths adjacent to walls or buildings on adopted highways are treated.

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Why control weeds?

Weeds are controlled for the following reasons: 
  • Appearance - weeds detract from the overall appearance of an area and trap litter.
  • Safety - weed growth can interfere with visibility for road users and obscure traffic signs. Weeds in kerbs or around drains can prevent or slow down drainage. Their growth on pavements may damage the surface causing broken and uneven slabs. 
  • Structure - weed growth can destroy paving surfaces, force kerbs apart and crack walls, greatly increasing our maintenance costs. 

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Will the dead weeds be removed?

Yes. The dead weeds will be removed through the routine sweeping rounds and the town centre street cleansing staff.

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Will noxious / injurious weeds be treated as part of this service?

No, not directly. Hertfordshire County Council have a statutory responsibility to control noxious and injurious weeds in line with the Weeds Act 1959.  If you think you have identified this type of weed, please report it to the Hertfordshire County via their online reporting system

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Date of last review: 06 April 2018