Dodder Control Guide

Do's and Don'ts of dodder control

Dooder flower

Do's

  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
  • Ensure machinery and equipment is washed down between sites or prior to contractors leaving site;
  • Get in early - for new infestations, eradicate before the plants reach the flowering stage: once plants begin seeding, control becomes more difficult and expensive; and
  • Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken;

Don'ts

  • Don't introduce dodder to dodder-free areas (e.g. by failing to wash down machinery and equipment between sites);
  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
  • Don't allow dodder to flower and set seed before treatment;
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential; and
  • Don't rely on just one control method.


Spread of dodder

  • Dodder spreads by seed and via stem fragments.
  • Seed production is prolific, with up to 16 000 seeds produced by a single plant. Dodder seed can contaminate lucerne and clover seed has been widely spread via trading of contaminated seed. Dodder seed is also spread in water, via animal faeces and in mud on the feet of birds.
  • Dodder will regenerate from stem fragment which come in contact with a host plant, even where the stems have withered. Stem fragments can be spread in water and on farm equipment.


Avoid the introduction of dodder

  • The best way to control dodder is to avoid the problem by planting only clean seed which is free of the weed.

Physical removal

  • Small infestation of dodder can be controlled by removing all plants or portions of plants infected by dodder.
  • Ensure all fragments of dodder are removed and destroyed as stem fragments can regenerate if they come in contact with a new host plant.
  • Remove the weed before the dodder flowers and produces seed.
  • Dodder seedlings are difficult to find, but if they are observed before they attach to a host, remove them by cultivation or by hand-pulling.

Burning and cultivation

  • For larger infestations in agricultural crops, the dodder plus host plants should be destroyed, for example by spraying with a flammable material (such as diesel), burning the crop plus weed and then cultivating the site.
  • Re-sow to resistant crops such as cereals or pasture grasses, and do not re-sow to susceptible crops for at least five years.

Chemical control

  • For information on chemical control options for dodder contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550.
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