Sandbur Control

Most Effective Products

MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $106.66
Celsius WG Herbicide
Water Dispersible Granule (WDG)
As low as $12.41
Eraser 41% Glyphosate
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $15.90
Nanotek Surfactant
Surfactant
As low as $27.99
Dimension 2EW Herbicide
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $143.67
Keith's Pro Tips

"We have seen the most success in managing sandbur when cultural, biological and chemical methods are combined and there is a regular lawn maintenance schedule that is kept up with. However even with implementing all of this, it may take several years to bring a problem under control. Yes, it's that stubborn and prickly (literally)."

Sandbur Control: How To Get Rid of Sandbur

This page is a general DIY guide for controlling sandbur. Using the products and methods suggested you get control of sandbur. Follow this DIY article and use the recommended products, and we guarantee 100% control of sandbur.

Sandbur, also called bur grass, bear grass, hedgehog grass, longspine sandbur, or field sandbur is a grassy annual weed. It is a notorious invasive weed that is registered in 46 states as a noxious weed. The plant is part of the Poaceae family and actually looks like normal grass earlier in the year before maturing into the noxious plant we all know and hate.

Sandbur is most common in the southern part of the United States, and in some states like in Washington, DC, and Northern California. Perennial sandbur, which is the species of sandbur that overwinters, have been discovered in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico and has shown to be difficult to manage.

Although sandburs are versatile enough to grow in nearly every type of soil, they thrive the most in regions that are dry and sandy, which is why they get their name. The weed germinates in spring, and continues through summer and fall until the first frost kills it off.

If you are encountering sandbur on your property. Our DIY treatment guide will show you how easy it is to get rid of sandbur from your lawn with the help of our professional herbicide recommendations. Follow the directions below and apply the herbicide recommendations on the side to eliminate sandbur quickly and affordably.

Identification

Before breaking out the herbicides, make sure you correctly identify that the weed you are dealing with is sandbur. Misidentification can lead to using the wrong herbicide, which will cost you time and money. Here are some descriptive traits on Sandbur that can help you with identification:

Sandbur

  • Sandbur is a grassy annual weed typically viewed as annual grass due to its appearance when in reality it is a noxious weed. 
  • This weed produces a spiny bur with needle-like barbs that cling to clothing and animal hair. 
  • The leaf blades are thin, flat, and usually lack hairs. The tips are sharply pointed. The grass blades can grow to varying lengths depending on the species, but the widths are no more than ¼ of an inch.
  • As a seedling, they are rolled in the bud that are directly attached to the floral stalk. Young bur stages will be green in coloration and change to yellow or brown when mature. 
  • From June to November, the sandburs will bloom and their inflorescences, or flowering structures, grow in spike formations. These terminal spikes are 1.25 to 5.5" long by 0.4 to 0.8" wide, with 4-20 burs. 

Use our description and image above to help you to identify sandbur on your lawn. If you need help ID'ing you weed, contact us and we will properly ID the plant for you as well as give you the best product recommendations to control the weed.

Inspection

Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with sandburs, proceed with inspection. You will need to pinpoint where the sandspur is growing so you know where to focus your herbicide treatment.

Where to Inspect

Sandburs grow thoroughout the United States, but they thrive in dry, sandy soils. However, they are adapted to grow in other soil types as long as the area is open ground.

Common sites for sandbur to appear in are lawns, sport fields, parks, pastures, cropland, along roadsides, and other turf areas. 

What To Look For

Sandbur seeds begin to germinate when soil temperatures reach 52 degrees Fahrenheit, and continue to do so until June to November. 

Depending on the species, sandburs can be seen extending above the ground vertically or form dense, thorny mats with branching stems that creep low to the ground.

Treatment

After identifying sandbur and inspecting where it is most active in your lawn, you can begin to treat your area. Be sure to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) before handling or applying any type of product.

To get rid of sandburs on warm-seasoned lawns, we recommend using Celsius WG Herbicide. This product offers broad-spectrum control of broadleaf and grassy weeds on many types of warm-season grasses.

If the sandspurs are growing in cool-seasoned turf or where they shouldn't be like sidewalks and other paved areas, we recommend treating them with Eraser 41% Glyphosate. This professional-quality herbicide is a non-selective herbicide that will kill all vegetation such as sandburs, but desired foliage as well.

For professional non-residential areas, we recommend MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide. This concentrate herbicide will control sandburs and other weeds on cotton fields, sod farms, golf courses, and highway right-of-ways.

The best time to apply this product is early on in the summer when the plant is young and actively growing as this is the time when they are most vulnerable to herbicides.

Step 1: Mix And Apply Herbicide

Determine how much herbicide you will need by measuring the square footage of your treatment area. To do this, measure the length and width of the treatment area in feet then multiply them together (length X width = square footage).

For spot applications with Celsius WG Herbicide, apply 0.085 oz. of product per 1 gallon of water per 1,000 sq. ft. 

For maximum sandbur control, mix this product with a non-ionic surfactant. Nanotek Surfactant is a non-ionic surfactant that improves the adhesion and penetration of pesticides into target areas. Simply add 1 oz. of Nanotek Surfactant per 1 gallon of spray solution. 

To use Eraser 41% Glyphosate, apply 2 1/2 oz. (5 tbs) of product per gallon of water per 300 sq. ft.

To control sandburs with MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide, use 1 fl. oz. of product per 1 to 2 1/2 gallons of water per 1,000 sq. ft. When applying with this product, do not make applications when temperatures are between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For either of these products, we recommend you mix and apply your herbicide with a handheld sprayer or a backpack sprayer. If using Eraser 41% Glyphosate, be sure to label your sprayer explicitly for non-selective herbicides to prevent cross-contamination in the future.

Fill your sprayer halfway with water, then add measured amount of herbicide, and pour the remaining half of water into the spray tank. Close the spray tank lid and shake until solution is evenly mixed.

Spray the sandbur preferably on a fan nozzle spray setting to ensure uniform, even coverage, but not the point of runoff.

To avoid spray drift when using Eraser 41% Glyphosate, you can place a carboard box around the weed before spraying.

Step 2: Follow Up Application

Spraying Weed with Cardboard Box Covering

When applied properly, affected weeds will yellow and begin to die.

Conduct a follow-up application if sandbur weeds are still present after the first treatment.

Reapply Celsius WG Herbicide when 2-4 weeks have passed after the first application.

Most treated weeds with Eraser 41% Glyphosate usually show initial symptoms in 2-4 days and complete kill in 1-2 weeks. Hard-to-control weeds may require a second application if not completely dead in 4 weeks.

A second application, if needed, should only be applied when 1 to 3 weeks have passed after the first application of MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide for cotton. Apply only when cotton is 3 inches high, but no later than 6 inches high or early square, whichever comes first.

For sod farms, a second application of MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide should only be done if necessary. Only 2 broadcast applications are allowed per season.

For highway rights of ways, do not apply the second treatment prior to 10 days after the frist treatment of MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide.

Prevention

Once you have gotten rid of sandspurs from your lawn, you will need to implement some lawn maintenance practices which ensure this weed does not return. 

  • Prevent sandbur from reappearing in your property with a pre-emergent herbicide. Dimension 2EW Herbicide is a selective, pre-emergent herbicide concentrate that will protect your lawn, container/field grown ornamentals, and non-cropland from grassy and broadleaf weeds like sandbur. Apply 0.73 fl. oz. of Dimension 2EW Herbicide per 1 gallon of water per 1,000 sq. ft. Fill the sprayer with half the amount of water, add in the proper amount of product, then pour in the remaining half of water. Close the spray tank lid and shake until solution is mixed. Broadcast the product over the treatment area until wet, but not to the point of runoff. Wait until 6 hours have passed after application, before watering the treatment area with 0.5 inches of irrigation. 
  • With proper lawn care maintenance combined with pre-emergent applications you can prevent this weed. Mow when your turf is the proper height to maintain dense foliage thus helping to choke out weeds. Rake up fallen plant debris to help gather burs and prevent them from spreading. Improve watering by adjusting it to 1 inch of irrigation once per week preferably in the early mornings.

Key Takeaways

What are Sandburs?

  • Sandbur is a common invasive weed in dry, sandy soils and patchy lawns and is known for the seedpod produced by the plant that can stick to clothing and pet fur and prick skin.

How To Get Rid of Sandburs

  • Our top products to treat Sandbur is Celsius WG for warm-seasoned lawns, Eraser 41% Glyphosate for cool-seasoned turf areas and other paved areas, and for professional non-residential areas like golf courses, sod farms, and cotton it would be MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide.

Preventing Sandbur Reinfestation

  • To prevent sandbur re-infestation, implement a good lawn maintenance routine (mowing, watering, fertilizer) that promotes a thick, healthy stand of grass. We also recommend using Dimension 2EW Herbicide as a pre-emergent form of control against sandbur. 
Questions and Answers
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    MSMA Target 6 Plus Herbicide
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    Celsius WG Herbicide
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    Solutions Electric Sprayer 1.5 Gallon
    $84.99 - $84.99
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    Eraser 41% Glyphosate
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    Nanotek Surfactant
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    Dimension 2EW Herbicide
    $143.67 - $639.50
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