3 Ways to Get Rid of Common (Broadleaf) Cattails (Updated)

Aquacide Pellets aquaneat Broadleaf Cattails Cattails Shore Klear Liquid

Common Cattails
It is generally not a good rule of thumb to place any type of aquatic vegetation into a private lake or pond.  However, Common Cattails are one of the species that can be utilized, carefully, to add dimension to the water body.  Because of the thick root system and dense growth of Cattails in general, they are a great type of erosion-control.  Cattails also provide great habitat for waterfowl, especially wood ducks. Many species of birds will also use Cattails as a perch, and Cattails provide habitat for other aquatic animal life like frogs and turtles, as well as cover for small fish.

Although there are some benefits associated with Cattails, there are also several problems.  The benefit of Cattails providing erosion control is also one of the biggest problems.  Because of the thick root system and dense that Cattails create, they trap sediment and cause extension of shallow water, and eventually marshy shoreline.  The natural progression of a water body is back to dry land and help with that progress is undesirable.  areas of sediment that Cattails create also provide habitat for undesirable insects, like mosquitoes, and can be quite putrid.

Not only is the management time consuming, but controlling Cattails can also be expensive. If Cattails are allowed to grow unchecked, they may eventually cover most of the shoreline, impeding bank access.  A lot of time and money will be required to control the vegetation.

Cattail removal tool

Getting rid of Common Cattails can be accomplished with a variety of methods.  Herbicides work best because of the three stages of growth at which Common Cattails can be treated.  Another method is physical Cattail removal, like cutting, which is relatively labor intensive.

Aquacide Pellets

When the cattails begin to grow early season, and the cattails are still below the water surface, the best control option is 2,4-D (Aquacide Pellets).  The best method for mid to late season cattail control, is  (Aqua Neat Liquid & Shore-Klear Liquid) mixed with a non-ionic surfactant (Cygnet Plus Liquid).  As with any herbicide, please read the label to be certain of the appropriate rate to use.

Shore-Klear Liquid

is also a good option for Narrow Leaf Cattails when applied mid to late season to actively growing cattails.  See the photo below for the difference between Narrow Leaf cattails and Broadleaf (Common) Cattails.  See picture below to identify narrow leaf cattail from cattails. Cattails are on the left, Narrow Leaf Cattails are on the right.)

Broadleaf & Narrow Leaf Cattails


Pond & Lake muck removal is also key.  By reducing the amount of lake muck, nutrients that feed Common cattails (and Narrow Leaf cattails) will be reduced.  Lowering the nutrient level should significantly reduce the amount of new cattail growth the following season.

Aquaclear Pellets

For any questions regarding cattail control or any water weed growth, feel free to email or call for more details on treatment or answers to other questions we may not have discussed.  Email Tom@KillLakeWeeds.com or Call 1-800-328-9350

Next Steps:

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(Southern Ponds & Wildlife Spring 2006 Vol 5 18)


It is generally not a good rule of thumb to place any type of aquatic vegetation into a private lake or pond. However, Common Cattails are one of the species that can be utilized, carefully, to add dimension to the water body.

Tagged in: how to get rid of cattails naturally, how to kill cattails, kill cattails, kill cattails in a pond, cattail removal 

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