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This Town Is Being Overwhelmed By Tumbleweed Called Hairy Panic

The tumbleweed is clumping in piles reaching roof height.

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Residents of around 20 homes in Wangaratta, in the state of Victoria, are having to spend hours each day de-clogging their gardens and garages of the weed, some piles of which are reaching roof height.

It is thought especially dry conditions this summer and a local farmer who failed to maintain a nearby paddock are behind the hairy panic takeover, Prime7 News reported.

Local resident Jason Perna told the broadcaster it was "frustrating" to come home to find the weeds piled up.

"You know that you've got a good couple of hours work ahead of you and that's always sort of displeasing," he said.

Look what's blown in.. #Wangaratta homes blanketed by tumbleweed.. And the residents are fed up!! Tonight at 6..

The tumbleweed, officially known as Panicum effusum, is native to Australia. Its other name comes from the long hairs along its leaves.

Although it is harmless to humans and pets, it can be fatal to sheep if eaten in large quantities. However, Richard Evans, a vet from Wangaratta, told BBC News that by the time it had dried and become tumbleweed, the plant was no longer toxic.

Matthew Champion is a weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Matthew Champion at matthew.champion@buzzfeed.com.

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