Successful Control of Wheel Cactus at Pigeon Hill Property
Over the past few years, one property in the Pigeon Hill area near Maldon (Watersons Rd.) has successfully treated a very heavy infestation of Wheel Cactus using injection of Glyphosate. Maintenance treatments now occupy only a few days per year.
The owners have provided the following very interesting advice:
When we purchased our property, we recognized that it had a severe cactus infestation that would take a significant effort to manage. Since we did not live in Victoria at the time, we decided to bring in a contractor to manage the infestation. We were extremely fortunate to find an outstanding contractor who we could trust to eradicate the infestation with little input from us.
Around five years after we appointed our contractor to work at eradicating our cactus infestation, we achieved the objective for our property. Our contractor had completed a sweep of our property and for the first time in decades, our property did not produce any cactus seed. We were not free of cactus because some regrowth had occurred but we were not producing seed that could be carried by birds and foxes to infect other properties in our community. Over the next two years, our contractor set about treating the cactus regrowth.
In those seven years we learned some valuable lessons :
Lesson one. Ignoring a cactus infestation is not a viable strategy. The problem doesn’t go away….it gets worse and can get so bad that it will overwhelm a property owner.
Lesson two. Early intervention is the only strategy that can eradicate the cactus and contain the cost of eradication. One shot of chemical in a two-year-old plant and it’s finished. Leave that plant untreated for a further two or three years and it will take significantly more time to treat.
Lesson three. Every successive sweep of our property to treat cactus regrowth involved ever decreasing effort such that now, staying on top of the problem is a matter of maybe a day of so a month.
Lesson four. If you are to employ a contractor, build trust and together set realistic goals that will complete the task and eradicate the infestation to the point where the property owner has the capacity to undertake the maintenance program for the property.
Lesson five. The time and money we spent on eradicating the cactus infestation on our property was not seen by us as a sunk cost, it was an investment, offset many times over in the increased value of our property. The opposite is also true, an overwhelming cactus infestation could have a serious impact on the value of your property.