Herbicides for Kudzu

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) was introduced in the early 1900s from Japan as a forage crop and a way to control erosion. Its vines can grow up to several feet a day. But it has become a serious pest, suffocating trees and land. There are some post-emergent herbicides that control kudzu, but they must be applied correctly and consistently. According to the University of Georgia, completely eradicating kudzu can take three to 10 years of repeated treatments in order to deplete root reserves.

Escort XP

Dupont's Escort XP is an herbicide used to control weeds like kudzu and woody plants on rights-of-way, non-crop areas, industrial sites, unimproved turf grass and conifer and hardwood plantations. It is not labeled for use on food crops. Escort XP's main ingredient is metsulfuron methyl. Use Escort XP to eradicate kudzu in mid-summer. If applied in cold, wet or drought-stress conditions, it will not be effective.


Dow AgroScience's Transline controls herbaceous weeds, woody brush and legumes with its main ingredient, clopyralid. It should be applied to kudzu from June through August. Transline is used in hardwood plantations and wildlife management areas because most hardwoods and conifers are tolerant. After spraying Transline, do not enter treated areas until the sprays have dried. According to the label, it should not be used in greenhouses, established grass is tolerant (though grass seedlings are not) and several states have specific restrictions.

Banvel 720

Arysta's Banvel 720 is a combination of Dicamba and 2,4-D that can be applied to kudzu in August and September. It is used on broadleaf weeds and brush in pastures, ranges, fallow systems and some cropland areas. According to Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, when applied properly it will not harm grass plants. Banvel should not be sprayed directly into water or where runoff could contaminate surface water. It should be kept away from the root zone of desirable plants.

Veteran 720

Riverdale's Veteran 720 is a water-soluble herbicide that should be sprayed on kudzu from August through October. It is used by industry to control broadleaf weeds and brush. It can be applied to fence rows, rights-of-way, forest brush, wasteland, pastures, rangelands and non-cropland areas. Its active ingredient is dimethlamine salt. Veteran 720 is corrosive and can cause irreversible eye damage if proper chemical-resistant clothing and eye protection are not used. It is toxic to aquatic invertebrates and nontarget plants.

Keywords: killing kudzu, herbicides for kudzu, herbicides for weeds

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years, earning three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer." Clarkson earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Florida.