See 'hairy panic' invading Australian town
Thursday, February 18, 2016, 12:10 PM - Dry conditions have increased the growth of tumbleweed in this Australian rural town and local residents have had enough of it.
The grass dubbed 'hairy panic,' is invading homes, gardens and garages in Wangaratta in northeast Victoria. Those in the area have spent countless hours trying to remove the giant piles of tumbleweed only for it to roll right back in.
"It's physically draining, and mentally more draining," Pam Twitchett, Wangaratta resident told CNN.
Also known by its Latin name Panicum effusum, it is a grass that grows very quickly and found in every Australian state. It's called 'hairy' because while there are other species that belong to the Panicum family, none have long hairs along the edges of their leaves.
"The grass is around most years," a spokesperson for rural city of Wangaratta told CNN. "But conditions are ideal for it at present because we had quite a wet January."
SPRING IS HERE: How will El Niño affect your spring? Find out on The Weather Network’s Spring Forecast. Premiering February 29, 2016, at 9PM ET #SpringForecast
Some residents in the area claim the tumbleweed is coming from a nearby unmaintained paddock.
The grass is also known to cause a potentially fatal condition called "yellow big head," if eaten in large quantities.
Tumbleweed in New Mexico invaded city streets in January 2014. Two months later, towns surrounding Colorado Springs were also inundated with strong winds causing piles to grow over two metres high.