How to Control Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive plant that’s taking over our woodlands. It crowds out our native wildflowers and endangers forests by preventing tree seedlings from growing. To make matters worse, none of our native insects or wildlife eat it! Check woodland areas annually for new or spreading populations and keep working to keep it from becoming a large infestation. Don’t give up – it may take 8 to 10 years to deplete the seed bank.

For smaller infestations you can hand pull or dig up the garlic mustard. If buds have not yet formed, you can lay the plants on the ground to dry out. After flowering, all pulled plants must be bagged and sent to the landfill.

Larger garlic mustard infestations may need to be controlled using a 1% or 2% solution of glyphosate herbicide. This can be carefully applied to the garlic mustard leaves in fall and/or very early spring, being very careful not to effect any surrounding native vegetation.

When controlling garlic mustard and when recreating in our woodlands, take precautions to prevent spreading the seed. Make sure you clean your footwear, clothes and tools before entering into an uninfected area.

More detailed information on the ecology and control of garlic mustard can be found at: Garlic Mustard - Wisconsin DNR

You don’t have to battle garlic mustard alone! Join the Garlic Mustard Pull-A-Thon. This is an annual event when hundreds of people like you team up to protect our native woodlands from this invasive plant.