A dangerous plant has found its way into the Timmins eco-system. The Giant Hogweed is a threat to human health and the effects can last for months. The City reminds residents that a bylaw exists where landowners are responsible for the destruction of noxious plants, including the Giant Hogweed from their property. A warning however; before attempting to deal with the problem, it is recommended that a professional exterminator be brought in. If you wish to control the plant yourself, follow the instructions provided at the Invading Species website or instructions included on the Landowner's Guide to Controlling Invasive Woodland Plants. Sightings need to be reported to the Invading Species hotline at (1-800) 563-7711 or online at www.invadingspecies.com.
If it is confirmed that you have seen Giant Hogweed, please contact the By-Law Enforcement Department in the City of Timmins by telephone at (705) 360-2614 or by email at
to advise where the sighting occurred.
Landowners can now use pesticides to control plants that are poisonous to the touch (i.e. giant hogweed) under an exemption to the Pesticides Act. Under this exception, only herbicides listed in Class 10 (glyphosate in the case of giant hogweed) are permitted.
This plant is similar in appearance to Parsnip or Cow Parsnip with its white flowering top, the most distinguishing feature of Giant Hogweed is its size. It boasts flowering stems which stand up to five metres tall and up to 10cm in diameter (the largest plants observed in Timmins are approximately 1.5m tall and 2.5cm in diameter). The stems are hollow except at the nodes, are bristly and have an obvious reddish-purple coloring and specks. They may be nearly solid purple near the base and the lower stem may be rough with pointed, irregularly-spaced bumps. The watery, clear sap contains photosensitizing compounds (furanocoumarins), which are activated on humans when exposed to Sunlight and causes severe dermatitis with contact to the skin and may cause temporary or permanent blindness with contact to the eyes. Avoid contact at all cost. The effects from contact with Giant Hogweed can last for months and skin can remain sensitive to UV light for years.