Chief Matthew Carlson, of the Sugarcreek Borough Police, told exploreVenango.com, “We have one location that we are aware of in the borough.”
The Sugarcreek Borough Police are not currently releasing information about the location of the plant that was discovered to prevent curious individuals from going to look at it and possibly coming into contact with it.
Carlson said he wants people to know they can call the Sugarcreek Borough Police if they believe they have found giant hogweed plants in the borough.
“If we have someone available, we’ll come to check it out,” Carlson said.
According to Chief Carlson, they have contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Weed Noxious Plant Hotline regarding the plant.
The Hotline was launched by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the USDA in 1998.
According to the Department of Agriculture, since 1998, over 500 sites have been found in 17 Pennsylvania counties, including Venango County.
Giant hogweed was introduced in the United States in the early 1800s by immigrants from Eurasia. Later, in the early 1900s, it was sold as an ornamental landscape plant until increasing reports of serious burns from the poisonous sap were noted by authorities.
In 1983, the USDA declared giant hogweed a federal noxious weed and began to target it for eradication nationwide.
The poisonous sap is contained in all parts of the plant and can cause serious burns and scarring.
Giant hogweed is a slow spreading species capable of displacing native or beneficial plants, particularly in wetland areas. It thrives in rich, wet soil and is most often found in flowerbeds or the edges of wooded areas, wet meadows, and along streams.
A Noxious Weed Alert from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture asks that if you believe you have discovered giant hogweed, report it by calling the Noxious Weed Hotline at 1-877-464-9333.