Duckweed Control: No Quacking Matter

Welcome to Part Four of our Aquatic Plant Control blog series! The topic floating in this week is duckweed

What is duckweed?

Duckweed is a species of floating aquatic plant and is extremely small, some species averaging less than 2 mm in length. While small in size, duckweed packs a big punch.

Duckweed is often denoted by its rapid growth and reproduction which is achieved through asexual budding. In the right conditions colonies of duckweed double in surface area coverage in just 48 hours! As a result, duckweed can quickly cover slow moving water bodies in shorter spans of time than most other species of invasive aquatic plants. 

Duckweed is easily transplanted from one water body to another either through the natural flow of water or borne aloft on the bodies waterfowl. When birds land in a new lake, pond, or stream, they carry duckweed with them into a new environment and where it begins to propagate if conditions allow. 

What are the benefits of duckweed?

Across the world, duckweed is largely a beneficial species of aquatic plant. In Asia, duckweed is used as a food source due to its high-protein value and even contains more protein than soybeans! When cultivated, duckweed is a plentiful food source for humans and waterfowl (hence the name “duck” weed) and offers habitats for various other types of aquatic life. Additionally, duckweed can be used to absorb nitrates and phosphates, and the plant also decreases the evaporation speed of water in drought-prone regions.
Photo credit: Christian Fischer from Germany

What are the problems with duckweed? 

Despite the benefits of duckweed, it is an invasive aquatic weed. Duckweed plants aggressively invade water bodies, and if uncontrolled, they quickly become a problem as the duckweed covers the entire surface area of a water body. As the duckweed blocks sunlight from reaching the floor of the water bodies, native species of aquatic plants die off, reducing the oxygen dissolved in the water. Fish and wildlife are harmed or displaced. Duckweed problems are not only a common backyard pond concern. Many parts of the world struggle with duckweed control, including Asia, South Africa and parts of the U.S. including Florida Everglades, parts of Oregon, and many more regions. 

Is there a duckweed barrier I can use for duckweed control? 

Duckweed control, whether to harvest as a food source or to help contain it to a designated area, can be achieved through the use of an aquatic plant control boom (also referred to as a duckweed barrier).

Aquatic plant boom serves as an excellent means of controlling duckweed as it can coral floating plants into an ideal location for harvesting, removal, or containment. Learn more about aquatic plant control boom at or contact our team of specialists at 772-646-0597!

Did you miss our last posts in our Aquatic Plant Control series? Feel free to visit our entries on Blue-Green Algae and Water Hyacinth! Moreover, be sure to come back next time for our final post in our aquatic plant control series on Sargassum!

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