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How to get rid of stinging nettles

Updated March 28, 2018

Stinging nettles are also referred to as common nettles. This perennial is a flowering weed. Its small, translucent spines deliver formic acid when broken, creating a stinging sensation. When harvested and cooked, this plant can be very nutritious. However, the plant can also cause a person to go into anaphylactic shock and die. These plants also have finger-like roots which allow it to spread very quickly. Use extreme care when removing this plant from your garden.

Put on a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers before attempting to remove the nettles from your garden.

Put on heavy rubber or leather garden gloves before touching the nettles.

Cut back the nettles with hedge trimmers until there is only a short base left of the plant.

Dig up all the roots to the nettles. This will not be an easy task because of the finger-like roots.

Before placing the dirt you have removed from around the nettles, spray herbicide over the area. Replace dirt and pat down with your shovel.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long trousers
  • Heavy rubber or leather gloves
  • Hedge trimmers
  • Shovel
  • Herbicide
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About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.