Stop Sticker Problems

Kimberly A. Evans  |  4/21/2011 1:31:29 AM

Image shown is the leaf axil, showing where the bur or spine will develop.

Lawn burweed is a low-growing, spreading-type weed. Once this weed flowers, the spines will develop very quickly.

The LaSalle Parish Extension Office has received calls recently related to stickers in the lawn. The following recommendations have been approved for control of stickers.

Stickers, piquants, burweed -- the list goes on and on with names that most people call this lawn pest that will poke or stick uncovered feet later this spring and summer. The weed most folks are talking about is called lawn burweed and also called stickerweed. This is a winter annual and a member of the aster family. This weed will usually germinate in the early fall months and remains very small and inconspicuous in the lawn during the winter. As temperatures warm in the spring, it begins a period of very rapid growth, flowering and forming a small spur or spine in the leaf axil junction.

The trick to eliminating the spiny sticker problem is to control the weed before the spur is formed. If you wait to control the weed after the spur is formed, you will kill the plant, but the spiny sticker will still be there waiting for unsuspecting bare feet or hands.

To control this weed in St. Augustine grass lawns and in bermuda grass lawns, (that have not been overseeded with a cool season grass) several herbicides are recommended. The ideal time to apply is from December to March, preferably on days with temperatures of 60 degrees F or warmer.

The earlier in the season you apply, the easier this weed is to control. Labeled herbicides and rates for control include:

  • Atrazine -- 1.5 ounces per gallon of water per 1000 square feet.
  • Weed B Gone -- 3 ounces per gallon of water per 1000 square feet.
  • Ferti Lome Weed Free Zone -- 1.5 ounces per gallon of water per 1000 square feet.
  • 2,4D -- 1.5 ounces per gallon of water per 1000 square feet. 
  • Bayer Advanced Southern Weed Killer -- 2 ounces per gallon of water per 1000 square feet.
  • Trimec -- 2 ounces per gallon of water per 1000 square feet.
  • Spectracide Weedstop -- 2 ounces per gallon of water per 1000 square feet.

Two or more applications are usually necessary. Make the second application about 10 days after the first. Always be cautious with these herbicides, even at these low rates. Do not apply around the dripline of trees and do not use in flowerbeds. As temperatures warm up and other plants are coming out of dormancy be aware of and prevent drift of spray to off-target plants and be especially cautious around vegetable gardens, and fruit trees.

If more information is needed or you have any questions, please contact the LaSalle Parish Extension Office at 318-992-2205. This office is located in Room 22 of the Courthouse and the website is lsuagcenter.com/lasalle.

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