Spurge Control

Most Effective Products

Barricade Granular Pre-emergent Herbicide
As low as $28.99
Fahrenheit Herbicide
Water Dispersible Granule (WDG)
As low as $30.00
Keith's Pro Tips

"There are several ways to control Spurge with herbicides, both pre-emergent and post-emergent. No matter what type of herbicide you use, there is a likelihood that it will take more than one application as these plants tend to be persistent, coming back annually."

Spurge Control: How To Get Rid of Spurge

This page is a general Spurge control guide. By using the products and methods suggested, you can get control of Spurge in your lawn or turf areas. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and you will get 100% control of Spurge in your yard.

Spurge, commonly Spotted Spurge or Prostrate Spurge, is a summer an annual weed that grows rapidly in thin or patchy areas of lawns, essentially taking over in those bare spots. Like most other weeds, Spurge sets up shop on lawns that are not getting enough TLC, seizing the opportunity of taking over an unhealthy lawn.

Spurge is an incredibly invasive weed -- a single spurge flower can produce hundreds of seeds over the course of one growing season. Spurge is also know to be toxic to some grazing animals and pets as the interior of the weed has a milky, sappy substance. This liquid will also cause itching and skin irritation in humans when contact is made 

If you're having trouble with Spurge on your lawn, our DIY treatment guide can help. The directions below were recommended by our lawn care experts and will show you how to properly get rid of Spurge from your property.


The first thing you should do with any pest control plan is identify what exactly you are dealing with -- especially when it comes to weed control. If you misidentify the weed, it can lead to the wrong treatment methods costing you time and money.

There are multiple types of Spurge weeds with the most common varieties being Spotted Spurge (also known as Prostrate Spurge) and Creeping Spurge. Other common types are Petty Spurge and Nodding Spurge. No matter the type, spurge shares these most common identifying traits.

Prostrate Spurge Growing in Bare Spot

  • Low-growing spurge typically grows in a circular shape, or in a clump, growing up to 2 or 3 feet in diameter. Tall-growing spurge, like leafy spurge, can grow to be 2 to 4 feet tall.
  • Spurges are herbaceous plants, meaning the stems and other parts from which the leaves and flowers grow from are soft, fleshy, and flexible, unlike woody plants like trees or bushes.
  • A single spurge plant grows from a taproot and produces multiple stems. Leaves grow along the length of a stem and grow in pairs, one opposite the other. Flowers grow at the end of stems, which can vary in color depending on the species. These flowers products hundreds of seeds.
  • When either a stem or leaf is damaged or broken, they will ooze a milky, liquid substance from the site of the wound that will cause itching and skin irritation in humans. If you are on land used for grazing, you will especially want to look out for spurge because the plant is toxic for cows and horses. Be sure to use caution if you decide to physically handle the plant.

Use the description and image above to help you properly identify Spurge on your lawn. If you are not certain, contact us and send us a photo of your weed and we will identify it for you and suggest treatment options.


Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with Spurge weed on your property, you can move on to inspection. During this phase, you will need to locate the areas on your lawn where the spurge weed is growing and what the conditions of the yard are that is helping the spurge to thrive.

Broken Spurge Stem with Milky Sap

When to Inspect

When conducting an inspection it is important to know that spurge grows when the temperatures are higher, since spurge it is a summer weed.

Depending on where you live and the general climate, you could see Spurge growing from February through September. Seeds begin to germinate once soil temperatures heat up, typically once temperatures are above 60 degrees in the spring.

What to Look For

If you have spurge growing on your lawn, they can be easy to point out because of their characteristic leaves and stem. Depending on the species of spurge, the invasive weed can grow in different conditions. But for the most part, spurge will grow in areas that are warmer and receive plenty of sun.

Because spurge needs sunlight, it does not do well when competing against other plants, like shrubs or tall turf. So spurge will grow in areas where the grass is thin, where the soil is compacted, or where the turf is experiencing stress. 


Spurge can be a tough weed to control manually because of its extensive root system and its ability to quickly produce seed and spread. This is why the best way of controlling spurge is chemical control.

Like with any weed, the best way to control it is to prevent in from growing in the first place. Do this before the start of the growing season with a pre-emergent herbicide, like Barricade. If you have missed the window for your pre-emergent herbicide application, you can control spurge with a post-emergent herbicide, like Fahrenheit Herbicide.

Remember to always wear the proper safety equipment any time herbicides are being mixed and handled. Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt along with gloves and goggles.  

Step 1 - Measure Your Treatment Area

Square footage Diagram of Yard

With either a pre or post-emergent herbicide application, you will need to determine the size of your treatment area so you know how much product you will need to apply. 

To do this, measure the turf area's length and width in feet, and then multiply the amounts together to find square feet (length x width = square feet).

For example, if you were going to apply Barricade at a labelled rate of 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet and you measured your yard to be 1,725 square feet, then you would need to apply 6.9 pounds of Barricade (4 x 1.725 = 6.9).

Step 2 - Apply Barricade Pre-emergent Herbicide 

Spreading granules

A pre-emergent like Barricade is a great option for spurge control. After application, Barricade will form a chemical barrier that will stop weeds from sprouting. Because Barricade comes in granular form, you will need a broadcast spreader to apply it.

Spurge seeds typically germinate once spil temperatures reach 75 degrees F, but germination can take place in temperatures as low as 60 degrees and as high as 100 degrees. Typically, the best time to apply Barricade is when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees.

For spurge control, you will want to apply 1.5 to 4 pounds of Barricade depending on your turf type. Pour the proper amount of Barricade in your spreader based on your calculations. Apply like fertilizer, broadcasting the granules in parallel lines once across the area. Then broadcast the other half at a perpendicular angle to cover the area in its entirety.

Once the product is fully applied, water the granules in. Most effective control can be achieved with at least half an inch of water within 14 days of application.

Step 3 - Apply Fahrenheit Post-emergent Herbicide

Using Top Shot

If you have missed your application window for Barricade or you are starting to see spurge growing on your property, use the selective, post-emergent herbicide Fahrenheit.

Fahrenheit offers great control spurge and other hard-to-kill weeds, and it is a selective herbicide, meaning you can safely apply it to turf areas. Keep in mind that this product is only labelled to be used in warm season grasses like St. Augustine grass, Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, and Zoysiagrass.

Fahrenheit is formulated as a water dispersible granule, so it will need to be mixed with water to be applied. Every bottle of Fahrenheit comes with a handy measuring cup to make measuring the tiny granules simple.

Apply Fahrenheit at a rate ranging from 3 to 12 ounces of product per acre. This translates to 0.069 to 0.28 ounces per 1,000 square feet. We recommend that you spot spray weeds with a 1 to 1.5 gallon handheld sprayer to make mixing and application easy.

To mix, fill your sprayer halfway with water, add your measured amount of product, and then add the remaining half of the water filling the sprayer to capacity. Close the sprayer and shake to agitate and ensure an even mix.

Lightly spray your solution where spurge is established. Use a fine spray with a fan nozzle setting to get an even coating on the plant's leaves. Spray on a calm day when wind speeds are low to minimize drift and keep all people and pets off the treated areas until dry.

You should start to see Fahrenheit take effect within 1 to 2 weeks after application.


The best way to prevent spurge from growing in your lawn is with proper lawn maintenance. Here are some things you can do to keep your lawn healthy.

Close Up of Spotted Spurge

Make sure you are mowing your lawn to the proper height. Adjust your mower so that your grass blades will come out to 3 to 4 inches tall. Tall grass encourages deeper root growth and prevents weeds from receiving much needed sunlight.

Rake and dethatch your lawn to improve aeration and encourage proper water retention. Trim back any overhanging tree branches to reduce shade and increase evaporation rates.

Water your lawn properly. Your lawn will need 1 to 1.5 inches of water every week, including with rainfall. Watering your lawn once a week in the morning is better than a little everyday because deep watering encourages deep root growth, strengthening the turf.

Finally, make semi-annual applications of Barricade Pre-emergent to make sure that weed seeds are unable to germinate in the soil.

Key Takeaways

What is Spurge Weed?

  • Spurge is a fast-growing annual summer weed that grows low to the ground and spreads quickly on lawns where they are established.

How to Get Rid of Spurge

  • Our top Spurge weed killer for lawn spurge that has already emerged on your lawn is Fahrenheit Herbicide.
  • For spurge that has not yet germinated, use Barricade Pre-emergent Herbicide.

Preventing Spurge Weed Reestablishment

  • You can prevent Spurge with proper lawn maintenance and semi0annual applications of Barricade.
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