Davis Residents Call For Action Against Growing Foxtail Problem

DAVIS (CBS13) — People in Davis say their city has a weed problem, and they’re worried those weeds are impacting their pets.

Foxtails are everywhere; they’re growing along walkways and taking over sidewalks.

The weeds in one city lot top five feet.

“The City of Davis used to keep their greenbelts very fine and we’re very well known for that,” Mary Ann Laumus said. “And our bike lanes and walkways, the City doesn’t seem to be able to maintain them anymore.”

Laumus got so fed up that she pulled some of the weeds herself and posted the pictures online. Other neighbors followed suit, with some adopting big portions of pavement to keep weeds at bay and paths clear.

For Laumus, it’s about protecting more than just property values.

“Of course it spreads to our lawns, but I’m more concerned about our animals,” she said.

Elizabeth Facciotti is a homeowner and a veterinarian. She says foxtail burrs aren’t just dangerous – if ingested by dogs, they can be deadly.

“We have at least two animals that I personally know where they had to have lung lobes removed because it traveled down to their lungs,” she said. “And they had to have emergency surgery and have part of a lung removed.”

Her advice?

“I look her over every time I get back home, try to make sure I keep her out of where there’s foxtails, and just be vigilant watching her,” she said of her dog.

The City of Davis said it’s aware the weeds are gaining ground, but with a staffing shortage, it’s struggling to keep up.

“We’re really trying to do the best we can, but sometimes that takes time,” said Jenny Tan with the City of Davis.

But as more time ticks away, Laumus hopes the little seeds won’t lead to even bigger problems as we approach summer.

“I wish the city would make a program back like they used to have,” she said.

The city said they have 455 acres of parkland and greenbelts to keep weed-free along with 55 miles of bike paths. They’ve also limited the amount and types of herbicides used to kill weeds.