Mechanical Control Considerations

Throughout the 20th century, plant managers developed a variety of machines to shear, shred, crush, press, pull, convey, and remove aquatic weeds from waterbodies. Like all plant management techniques, mechanical controls can be costly tools to combat invasive aquatic plant infestations in Florida's lakes, rivers and wetlands. Plant managers carefully select the most appropriate mechanical control by evaluating factors such as plant species in question, disposal options, management objectives and uses of the waterbody, funding, and the physical characteristics of the waterbody. No single machine is universally effective.

While mechanical control is one of the oldest forms of invasive aquatic plant management, it remains suitable for many of Florida's waterways. Mechanical controls are used in small areas around bridges and flood control structures where immediate control is needed, or in marinas, swimming areas, fast-flowing water (such as springs), and boating trails, or where chemical, biological, and physical (non-mechanical) means of control are not practical.

Mechanical controls play integral roles in Florida’s floating island and tussock management efforts.