They can take over your lawn, but they can also be a danger to pets. Now, after a few wet months, people in Albuquerque are starting to see foxtails pop up all over town, including a popular city park—something the city’s not used to dealing with.
“Once they get dry, it’ll be really bad,” a frequent park-goer said.
It’s a problem spreading across McDuffie Park near Lomas and Carlisle in Albuquerque and neighbors are taking notice—with some even going out to pull the weeds themselves.
“It looks like all the foxtails are popping up now and they’re trying to trim them back,” said Tandi Hufnagel, who lives near the park.
The park is frequented by people who bring their dogs for a walk. They say the foxtails are concerning.
“I heard that they can get into the ear canal and do a lot of damage,” Hufnagel said. “That could be an expensive vet bill and just pain for your dogs.”
Veterinarians who KRQE News 13 spoke to say foxtail injuries are common in New Mexico, especially as temperatures get warmer.
One park-goer says her dog experienced just how painful the plant can be first hand.
“They’re designed to burrow into the ground to seed, so that’s why they burrow into the tissue,” she said. “My second dog, she had one and it went between two toes and created a wound there.”
To combat the infestation caused by the wet weather, the Parks and Rec department says they’ll have to re-seed the park.
“Over the years, with the old irrigation system, the turf has been a little weak,” said Mark Chavez, park superintendent. “Now with the new irrigation system, we are going to combat the weeds in that park with as a cultural practice.”
Parks and Rec says that reseeding will be done once the weather gets warmer, most likely at the start of May.
The city says it doesn’t typically see foxtail invasions at other parks. Parks and Rec did say it’s battling the usual weed problems all over the city because it has been a wet year so far.