I have introduced a toxic plant, how can I safely remove it?

A:

Based on your photo that looks to be myrtle spurge, a Euphorbia.

The profile for myrtle spurge is found on the Oregon Noxious Weeds.

This profile suggests a biological control, " a leafy spurge flea beetle", but otherwise the chemical controls noted in the fact sheet below might be more effective. It states that any control program must be long-term. Be sure to note the "cautions" so that other plants or animals are not damaged by chemical treatments.

The PNW Weed Management Handbook has a fact sheet for managing a variety of spurge plants.

The City of Boulder has perhaps the best response in their article about myrtle spurge

"On your property, Myrtle Spurge is easily removed by hand. Caution: Wear gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when pulling. The weed exudes a milky sap that can severely irritate skin and eyes and is toxic if ingested... Remove at least four inches of the root when pulling myrtle spurge. The weed has a taproot, so the more of this you can pull out, the more effective it will be at preventing re-growth."

Remove plants prior to seed set. Finally a good myrtle spurge fact sheet.

Best of luck controlling this plant. It probably is well-suited to your site, but not a family friendly plant. 

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