Foam blobs spark curiosity in SE Bend lot

Mystery solved: It was vegetation herbicide

Bend foam blobs spark curiosity

BEND, Ore. - "When I pulled up this morning, I saw foam blobs here in the street in lines and stripes all the way across the entire field," said John MacDougall of Bend.

Yes, you heard that right: foam blobs.

"It looked deliberate, and somebody had spent a large amount of time putting down these stripes of little foam blobs," MacDougall said Tuesday.

Could it be a group of kids bored during summer break?

Or maybe even something extraterrestrial?

"Pretty sure aliens had visited," MacDougall joked.

We did some investigating.

As it turns out, the white foam dots were nothing more than an herbicide used to control weeds and vegetation. The sidewalk and street are dabbed with the blobs to mark which areas of the lot were already sprayed.

"Basically, from the curb to their property line is also their responsibility," explained Julie Craig, code enforcement for the city of Bend.

Though the blobs might look a little funky, weed and vegetation control is something the city likes to see -- especially for vacant lots during wildfire season.

"It's a flammable vegetation issue -- they have less issue with fire," Craig said. "And we've seen that pretty heavily this year, so it's always a good idea to get rid of that dry, tall vegetation."

As for toxic safety concerns with the foam blobs being out in the street and sidewalk, the city says they should be safe.

"I would imagine all of the herbicides are mandated by the state or federally, so they have to reach specific levels and not be toxic to humans and pets, so I would imagine they are safe and deemed safe," Craig said.

So a proactive approach by some landowners spurred an out-of-this-world reaction for some.

"I'm sticking with the alien story," MacDougall said.

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