Invasive and Noxious Weeds

Noxious weeds are weeds that, required by law, must be controlled. In Iowa they consist primarily of invasive weeds, but do include two native species that can be troublesome in agricultural settings. Not all invasive weeds are declared noxious. 

View the list of Iowa's Noxious Weeds and the law in regards to them (PDF).

All landowners are required to control those weeds on their property that have been declared noxious by the State of Iowa or by Linn County. Noxious weeds growing within city limits, in abandoned cemeteries, along railroads, streets, and highways, as well as on farmland, or any private or public land, must be controlled. The Linn County Weed Commissioner enforces the Iowa Noxious Weed Law and the County's Noxious Weed Control Program.

County Weed Commissioner

Every county in Iowa has a weed commissioner to oversee that County’s noxious weed control program. The Linn County Weed Commissioner is located at the Linn County Soil Conservation Department, 891 62nd St Marion, IA 52302 or by phone at 319-377-5960 Ext 3. The Deputy Weed Commissioner is located at the Secondary Road Department, 1944 County Home Road Marion, IA 52302 or by phone at 319-894-6424.  

If you wish to file a weed complaint, please call one of the numbers above and provide the following information: 

  • Weed species in question
  • Legal description of the property
  • Location of the weeds on the property
  • Land owners and persons in control of the land

How You Can Help

  • Don’t plant invasive weeds. Be selective when you choose plants for home landscaping. Some invasive plants, such as purple loosestrife varieties, are still illegally sold in nurseries and garden shops, so beware! If you plant these in your yard, they may escape into nearby areas and become a problem by displacing native species. Consider planting native species in your home garden. Natives offer a good choice for home landscaping because they are well adapted to local conditions and often thrive with less care than required by many non-native plants. Native plant gardening also enhances the value of your yard for local wildlife including birds and butterflies.
  • Remove invasive weeds. Be on the lookout for invasive weeds and remove or report them whenever possible. You may have invasive plants already growing in your backyard. Birds and other animals may eat the seeds of these plants and then travel to nearby uninfested lands, resulting in the spread of invasive weeds. You can help stop these invasions by removing the source plants. Talk to your neighbors and local greenhouses about the problem and share your concerns. Report sightings on public lands to the land manager. If you do remove these plants from your own land, be sure not to spread the seeds when disposing of them.
  • Help prevent the accidental spread of invasive weeds. When you venture into natural areas, roadsides, or any place with invasive weeds, be aware that you could be introducing or carrying invasive weeds inadvertently. Check your shoes, socks, clothing, etc., which might carry seeds. Another important thing you can do is to try to limit soil disturbances on your property. Invasive weeds thrive on disturbance and can quickly colonize areas that don’t have a good vegetative cover. If invasive weeds are moving in, try to control them before they get well established and the area is infested.
  • Educate yourself and spread the word. Become better informed about how to identify invasive weeds, how to avoid spreading them, and how to control them. The battle to control invasive weeds cannot be won without public awareness and support.