by Lisa Tome
After months behind the wheel of a snow plow truck, Jay Bennett is ready to get outside and take on the weeds.
Bennett, Weed Control Coordinator for Cecil's Department of Public Works, can identify and eliminate Maryland's weed enemies: Bull Thistle, Canadian Thistle, Johnsongrass, and Shatter Cane.
"They're coming. Because of the cold weather that may have pushed it back. But when it starts getting warm, we'll be busy," said Bennett. "The weather has an impact on the weeds."
Bennett will be out along the county roads using his spraying truck to try and halt the weeds and keep them from going to seed and spreading. "Killing the noxious weeds on the right of ways on roads is top priority," he said.
He also helps farmers and the general public eliminate the pesky problem. "If you have horse pastures, mow them. Mow it when the Johnsongrass and Thistle comes up," Bennett said.
Bennett has been servicing his equipment and getting everything ready. He is also keeping up to date with new rules and regulations.
"Last year, we did spraying at schools. In a building you have to let people know what's in use. There are a lot of rules and regulation when you do public buildings," he said.
He also anticipates that he will be working at retention ponds. He said home owner groups often hire him to help. "We use water-friendly material that doesn't kill fish or frogs," he said.
This is Bennett's second year doing weed control for the county. Butch Snelling, who works for the Cecil County Roads Division, said Bennett "got a lot of commendations" for his work during his first year.
"Last year we were busy and the summer went by quick. After about 40 days of plowing snow, I'm excited for weed season. I'll be busy," said Bennett. "I love working with the public. There are a lot of nice people in Cecil County and I meet them."
He also asked that drivers be cautious of crews who are out on the roadways, mowing, controlling weeds, and more.
Anyone with questions about noxious weeds and weed control is asked to call 410-996-6270. There are penalties for those who do not control noxious weeds.