How to Guard Against Glyphosate Herbicide


Glyphosate is a popular herbicide that is used in products such as Roundup and Pondmaster. It is a non-selective herbicide that can be used to spot-treat weeds. According to the Extension Toxicology Network, glyphosate is popular because it shows no long-term toxicity in animals such as rats, very little toxicity to fish and fowl, and will not leach from organic soil. This makes it one of the safest herbicides for home use because it is an herbicide that is unlikely to harm the environment. Despite this, it is wise to guard against glyphosate overspray that can kill desirable plants and put the herbicide into the soil.

Step 1

Place a plastic tarp on the ground around weeds that you wish to kill. The tarp will catch any overspray and prevent it from touching desirable plants such as lawn grass.

Step 2

Attach spray applicator to the bottle of glyphosate. Some glyphosate containers will come with a spray applicator included.

Step 3

Hold glyphosate spray applicator a few inches away from the weed so that the majority of the spray lands on the weed itself.

Step 4

Spray glyphosate onto the weed so that the plant is saturated with the herbicide.

Step 5

Wait for herbicide to dry, then take up the tarp. Roll it inward, so that glyphosate does not touch your skin.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear protective clothing and work gloves when spraying herbicide so that you do not get herbicide into your system through skin contact. You should also wear breathing protection to avoid breathing herbicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Glyphosate
  • Spray applicator
  • Plastic tarp


  • EXTOXNET - Extension Toxicology Network: Glyphosate
  • Western Farm Press: Glyphosate: Protect It or Lose It
  • USDA: Evaluation of Weed Control and Crop Safety with Herbicides in Open Field Tree Nurseries

Who Can Help

  • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health: Glyphosate
Keywords: glyphosate herbicide, preventing overspray, using herbicide

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."