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how to get rid of grassburs

How to Get Rid of Grassburs


Know What Burs Are

Also Known As: Sandburs, Grassburs, Sticker Burrs/Burr Stickers, Pricking Monsters, Lawn/Grass Stickers.

In dry states like Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, you have probably had to deal with prickly stickers in your lawn from time to time. Learn how to get rid of grassburs in your yard.

Generally, these are all referring to the same nasty weed. They thrive in the heat and are prominently found in Bermuda and St. Augustine lawns.

Grassburs are an annual summer grassy weed. They will invade lawns, sports field, pastures and can also be found along the sides of roads. This weed is painful if it gets stuck in your skin and can be difficult to remove from clothing and shoes.

Read our “Weed Identification Guide” to learn how to identify Texas weeds.

Bur stickers love sandy soil, but they are able to survive in other types of soils as well. Depending on where the burrs are in their life cycle, treatment options differ.

If you have had to deal with grassburs before, you’ll enjoy this article that explains the most effective ways to eliminate them.

eliminate grassburs
remove stickers from lawn

Ways to Get Rid of Grassburs

  1. Use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide- The best and most effective way to get rid of grassburs is with a pre-emergent herbicide. These products need to be applied before the seeds germinate. Germination happens when the soil temperature reaches between 52 degrees Fahrenheit and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. In North Texas cities, it is recommended to put the pre-emergent products down by April 1st. For a heavily infested area, you will need to apply pre-emergent products every 6 weeks through September. If you have only a light infestation, 2 applications, 6 weeks apart should do the trick. Make sure to clear away leaves and grass clippings before applying pre-emergents. 
  2. Use a post-emergent herbicide- MSMA or DSMA products will be effective for treating young grassburs. As the grassburs grow and mature, they become much harder to eliminate. Liquid post-emergent products are more effective than dry. MSMA products should not be used on St. Augustine lawns, because it will damage or kill the grass. 
  3. Water Lawn Regularly – Grassburs struggle with competition. If you have a healthy, thick, and prosperous lawn, the burrs have a hard time spreading. They don’t like to be watered very much and they can’t stand healthy lawns. So keep your lawn watered regularly.
  4. Mow with a Bag – and drop the height adjustment on your mower a few notches and give your lawn a short-trimmed cut.Be sure to keep a bag on your mower. Mowing without a bag will spread the seeds faster and farther. For the first two weeks, mow a couple of times a week.
  5. Use an Herbicide like Orange Oil – Apply it to your lawn as directed.The best time to apply is between May and July. MSMA is not an Eco-Friendly product, which means it may be harmful to animals and children. Sandburs are tough, so you have to use a strong herbicide to get rid of them.An organic weed killer some experts mention on this topic is Orange Oil, if you would prefer a more eco-friendly option.
More Lawn Tips:  How To Get Rid Of Weeds In Lawn

Recommended Herbicides


eliminate grassburs
Photo by Harry Rose

Wrapping Up

Keeping your lawn watered properly will go a long way to eliminating stickers.  For North Texas lawns, we have created this guide to help keep a good watering schedule – click here for a Lawn Watering Guide.

Make sure to water your lawn well after applying pre or post emergent herbicides. Treatments will not be effective without adequate water. The number one reason homeowners are unsuccessful in eliminating grassburs is because they did not water well enough after applying herbicides.

Even if you control and rid your lawn of all current grassbur plants, new plants will emerge next spring from the seeds that are currently in the soil.

Eliminating the grassburs in your lawn will take some time. Helping your grass stay healthy in your lawn will help with this management effort.

When a professional is needed in North Texas for lawn maintenance remember Ryno Lawn Care is here to assist you.

PDF – How to get rid of grassburs

get rid of grass bur
Photo by Jason Hollinger
stickers in lawn
Photo by Kenraiz

10 Responses

  1. FYI – I don’t know about any other states but, MSMA is not supposed to be sold to retail customers/homeowners in Texas any more

    1. I live in Irving, Tx and can get Target 6 plus delivered directly to me. It’s a powerful chemical and you have to be careful applying it. I have three lawns and the one with the burrs has to be killed out and start over.

  2. I grew up on the Outer Banks of NC, specifically Frisco, on Hatteras Island. We found the easiest way to get rid of these things was to fertilize the hell out of your lawn. You could kill them early spring and keep them gone all year, but it will take a few years before they stop coming up altogether.
    They do hate nice lawns.

  3. I live in Utah, we have a very healthy lawn and my husband is anal about watering, but we still seem to get an abundance of these very painful little buggers. Any other suggestiosn

  4. I live in Barbados in the farming area we have then bad, my husband and I are digging them out and putting blankets down to catch them, then we will use a herbicides to kill the weeds so far so good

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