What is electric weed control and how does it work? - Weedingtech

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Weed control is a non-negotiable when it comes to  giving safe access to public spaces for communities to enjoy. Weeds can impact the health of other desired plants and can cause accidents. Not to mention, weeds are typically unwanted and are often not visually attractive. However, when taking care of weeds it is essential to use products that are kind to the planet. 

Electric weed control is a fairly new introduction - also known as zapping - it is the process of applying electricity directly to a plant to kill it.

With so many weed removal services on the market, it can be hard to determine which is the best choice for large scale weed control. Ultimately, you want something that is eco-friendly and does not threaten biodiversity or human health. By the same token, using an effective product is also key. With many desiring to find a product that ticks all of these boxes, a lot of attention has turned to electric weed control machines. 

We’ll look at this below to determine the best weed control solution, considering all the above. Is zapping weeds really the best method of wide scale weed control?


What are electric weed control machines?

With growing concern over the harmful ingredients in traditional weed killers, there are lots of different electric weed control machines on the market. These machines are efficient and use electricity to kill the weeds. Weed control machines work similarly to a standard household microwave; they heat up water molecules inside the weeds. This causes the weeds to vibrate and destroys the cell walls. The plant is then killed. 

But that’s not all; similar to how a microwave will heat up more than just the food, this weed management approach also kills the weed seeds simultaneously. Generally, this method works well because it is a lot more considerate of human health, animals, and the planet. As a result, weed control machines like these and the Foamstream product are typically a more sustainable option, free from chemical herbicides. 

In particular, glyphosate has been found to be quite problematic yet is present in many of the traditional weed-killing sprays. Electric weed control machines and thermal sprays like Foamstream have a lot of benefits over spraying beyond the environmental elements. For instance, they are less time-consuming and labour-intensive. The plants are typically killed within seconds, and it is easier to control the entire plant, including the roots. 

All of this makes electric weed control machines more efficient vs traditional weeding methods, and a great resource for maintaining weeds in urban areas - although they don’t perform as well when tested against Foamstream. 

Another significant benefit of Foamstream, the hot-foam based weed control solution, is that they are not influenced by climate elements. For example, they can be used when it is windy or raining, unlike common herbicide-spraying and weed-zapping options. 


How do electric weed control machines work?

Electric weed maintenance machines work in a variety of ways. Most commonly, they use electricity to essentially boil the weeds. They turn the water content in the weeds into steam from tip to root. Generally, the machines do all of this without damaging the surrounding soil or plants.

These machines often attach to tractors for ease of use and rupture the cell walls. Since weeds have been found to be building a tolerance to traditional herbicides and weed-killing sprays, electric weed management machines are expected to become increasingly popular when it comes to agricultural weed removal. 


What are the drawbacks to electric weed control machines?

We’ve shared a lot of the benefits of electric weed control machines, and it is all very exciting and innovative. However, like anything, we must take a look at the drawbacks to determine whether this is the best solution for managing weeds in communities and urban spaces. This method is actually not that new; people have been using electrical energy to kill and prevent vegetation since the 1800s. 

So, given that it has been a method for so long and it is so effective while being environmentally sound, why hasn’t it overtaken herbicide spraying? While electric weed control machines do not release any dangerous chemicals into our atmosphere, they do pose some human safety risks. For example, because they are electrical machines, there will always be a risk of fire or accidents occurring due to the high-voltage current. 

Another consideration for these machines is cost. Companies are releasing different kinds of electric weed control machines, and prices vary. This method may not be easily accessible to all communities due to this. On another note, in order to kill weeds successfully with electric weed control machines, they must be between 2 and 3 inches taller than the crop plants which is not always the case.

This is not a huge drawback, but it is something to keep in mind that you will need to allow them to grow a bit before you can cut them back. Overall, electric weed control machines have been found to be effective, environmentally friendly, and relatively safe. However, some question marks remain around accessibility and how to ensure human safety during use. 


How does hot foam compare to electric weed control machines?

Hot foam spraying, which is the method utilised by our Foamstream technology, is a green solution to managing weeds in public spaces without the use of herbicides or harsh chemicals. One of the significant benefits of using Foamstream is that they offer great longevity in that the weeds take considerable time to grow back. This ultimately means fewer treatment cycles are needed than with other solutions. Being herbicide-free, hot foam is also entirely safe for use around humans and animals. 

Therefore, you are not impacting biodiversity or surrounding habitats in any way. In addition, it can be used in any climate conditions such as rain, wind and snow. Another great thing about hot foam weed control products like Foamstream is they generally can be used for other vegetation, too, such as moss and also can be used for cleaning urban areas. The results of hot foam methods are also incredibly fast, almost showing instantly, often giving better results vs zapping weeds with electricity.

Hot foam kills weeds, sterilises spores and seeds, and kills and damages the roots. As you can probably tell, hot foam offers the same advantages and results as electric weed control machines. Moreover, the hot foam does not pose any threats to human safety. If you are looking for a weed control product that ensures your safety and does not harm wildlife or the planet, using Foamstream is probably going to be the best option. 


Summary - why hot foam is a better option vs weed zapping

There are many different weed control options on the market. However, there are some things to take into consideration when choosing one. Namely, the time and labour but also how effective the method is and whether it is environmentally sound. When comparing all the various options, we feel hot foam methods like Foamstream still come out on top as the best option.

Hot foam is especially suited for professionals who wish to tidy up community gardens and urban spaces while protecting biodiversity at all costs. On top of this, hot foam is far better suited to all weather conditions, whereas weed zapping can be heavily weather dependent - something that those living in the UK will always struggle with!

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