BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- If you come in contact with its sap, you could suffer severe skin rashes. The invasive plant known as giant hogweed can be found in nine counties, and 20 different sites around the state. Now the invasive plant has taken root in Bangor.
As plant expert Ronald Lemin inspects an area where giant hogweed has been found, he is concerned that this invasive species could spread quickly because it is close to a stream that connects to the Kenduskeag.
"There's been a lot of seed head development and seed source along this stream. And the seeds are flat, airborne or airborne dispersed or easily floated down the stream," Vegetation Management Sales Consultant with CPS Timberland Division Ronald Lemin said.
Lemin said giant hogweed is harmful to people if the sap that is inside the stem gets on your skin.
"It's a boil very similar to poison ivy, but it's a lot more aggressive and a lot worse than poison ivy," Lemin said.
According to Lemin, to properly identify giant hogweed, people should look for a bright red stem similar to rhubarb, big toothy leafs and a large seed head that kind of looks like Queen Anne's Lace. The plant can grow up to seven to 10 feet tall. If you think you have found giant hogweed Lemin recommends calling the cooperative extension so the plant can be treated by professionals.
"You wouldn't want somebody to come in here and just spray just anything. You wanna make sure it's a safe product to use," Lemin said.
Lemin stresses the importance of early detection with giant hogweed so that it can be treated before it spreads to other places.
Lemin said giant hogweed could cause blindness if someone gets a severe enough case. If you think have gotten the sap on your skin you should go to the doctor.