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Daily News Archive
From June 28, 2002

Heat Serves as Alternative to Herbicide-based Weed Control

This week's photo story features Jerry Neri demonstrating his flame-based weed control in Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Neri's backpack flame throwing device serves as a non-toxic alternative to the chemical weed control. While this might seem like a dangerous technique given the recent wild fires of the west, it works a little differently than you might think.

The goal of flame-based weed control is not to incinerate the weeds. The flame thrower is actually set at a very low flame and is only held over weeds long enough to weaken the leaves responsible for photosynthesis. The weed itself actually dies a few days later when it is unable to produce energy.

While Mr. Neri designed his own backpack device, similar products are produced commercially. Louie Murgg of Forevergreen Chemical Free Weed Control specializes in "ECO-WEEDER" infrared weeding tools. Using similar principles, this device kills the weeds without an open flame. Forevergreen estimates that with his product, a single person can eliminate weeds over a surface of up to 3,000m² an hour.