How to Get Rid of Sticker Weeds

Published on: October 2, 2022
Sticker Weed Plant

Weeds in general are aggravating when they invade your yard, but sticker weeds take it to a new level. Not only are they invasive, but they can stick to you, your family and your pets. Here is what you need to know about types of sticker weeds and how to get rid of sticker weeds in your yard.

Types of Sticker Weeds

A “weed” is categorized as any plant that grows where it is not wanted or cultivated. These are usually aggressive plants that can take away soil and nutrients from plants that you want to grow. There are only a few plants with stickers that are grown on purpose, while the rest are considered sticker weeds.

While roses and some berry plants may have thorns on their vines, they are not considered weeds unless they are unwanted. There are wild berry plants that can be very intrusive, which may be categorized as weeds. Sticker weeds are a different variety of plants than thorny vines.

Sticker weeds are generally low-growing plants that have seeds with tines or “stickers” that are prickly. Some of these weeds create burs that can stick to clothing and hair/fur, while others have larger tines. Sticker weeds are very invasive and often like the same type of turf as lawns, which is where they tend to grow.

If you have these plants in your lawn and want to know how to get rid of sticker weeds, you need to identify the type. This can help you devise the best plan for weed control to remove these pesky plants from your yard. Common types of sticker weeds include:

  • Bur clover. Also called bur medic, bur clover has small yellow flowers, purple stems and three leaves with a tined seed pod that sticks to fur and clothing.
  • Caltrop. Also called tackweed, caltrop is one of the more painful sticker weeds, with tough tines that can puncture skin, tires and even shoes. It has yellow flowers on short stalks with long spines on the fruit.
  • Lawn bur weed. Also called bindi weed or common saliva, lawn bur weed is a low-growing plant that has small lobes of hairy leaves and many small burs that stick to fabric and fur.

Other types of sticker weeds include yellow vine, goathead, grass stickers and many more. They are more common in drier regions and spread quickly when the weather gets warmer. Controlling them can be difficult once they flower, so spring is the best time to stop their growth.

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Removing Sticker Weeds From Your Yard

Sticker weeds can take over your yard quickly, making your soft lawn a prickly and painful area. Burs can get tangled in your dog or cat’s fur and some stickers can even pop a bike tire. If you want to know how to get rid of sticker weeds, try the following methods.

Hand Pulling
Tried and true, hand pulling weeds can be the best way to stop these weeds in the early stages. If you recognize a sticker weed, put on gloves and pull these weeds in the early stages. Make sure to pull up the roots to stop regrowth.
Picking Seeds
If you already have flowering sticker weeds, you want to collect those seeds before they spread to other areas of your yard. This can be tedious but pulling the plants and collecting the seeds is important to stop these weeds from taking over your yard. You can use rakes and tools to make it easier.
Mow Low and Frequently
Mowing your yard frequently and at a very low level can remove the heads of sticker weeds before they can flower. Even if your grass does not need mowing, cutting the lawn short weekly can remove the sticker weeds and prevent flowering.
There are pre and post-emergent herbicides that can be used for sticker weed control. Pre-emergent herbicides require treatment before the weeds begin growing, which takes planning. Post-emergent varieties can kill the weeds but may also have possible side effects.

As with most types of weeds, sticker weeds are easier to prevent than to remove once they begin to flourish. Keeping an eye on your lawn and yard for signs of growth is ideal, removing any weeds before they get a chance to bloom and spread. Once they take over a yard, they can be difficult to remove completely.

Professional Sticker Weed Removal

In extreme cases of sticker weed intrusion, you may want to hire a landscaper for weed control treatment. They can methodically remove these weeds and provide a preventive plan for the following year to ensure they do not come back and invade your yard.

From small, sticky burs to painful tines, sticker weeds can be awful when they overtake your yard. To learn more on how to get rid of sticker weeds at your home, contact your local landscaper who offers weed control and lawn maintenance.

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