Kiwifruit Vine Health says now is the time to destroy any missed moth plant vines, while they are still clearly visible and flowering, and before pods form or mature.
Moth plant is a South American vine that is invasive in New Zealand and unfortunately well-established in Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the coastal Bay of Plenty where it can heavily infest kiwifruit orchard shelter belts.
The large seed pods open over winter months to release hundreds of wind-blown seeds.
The simplest and most effective control method is to use a sharp spade and chip the vines out of the ground. Mature moth plant vines are not easy to kill with herbicide but can be done by cutting the vine to within 20cm of ground level and applying one part glyphosate to five parts water, plus a sticker such as Pulse, to the vine base.
Moth plant is a poisonous plant. The sap can cause severe dermatitis, so wear gloves, protective clothing and consider eye protection.