How to Eradicate Bermuda Grass

Overview

Bermuda grass is a very popular summer grass in the South because of its heat tolerance. The grass' tendency to spread through a system rhizomes and runners known as stolens causes it to sometimes wander where it's not wanted. Bermuda grass' aggressive spreading tendency also can cause it to move from lawn to lawn and become established in lawns where the grass of choice is a less aggressive. Eradicating Bermuda can be tricky, but it is not impossible.

Step 1

Apply a grass-selective herbicide such as sethoxydim, fluazifop or clethodim in the spring. This will kill all grass but will not harm ornamental plants. Follow the manufacturer's label for dosage instructions.

Step 2

Plant a tall grass such as winter fescue and keep it mowed to a length of 2 to 2 ½ inches. The taller grass will shade Bermuda grass seeds, stolons and rhizomes, and prevent them from sprouting.

Step 3

Apply a selective herbicide that contains triclopyr to kill Bermuda grass in fescue. Follow the manufacturer's label for dosage instructions.

Step 4

Withhold water from the lawn in July and August. Withholding water will weaken Bermuda grass and prevent it from becoming established.

Step 5

Rake clumps of Bermuda grass to remove rhizomes and stolens, and pull the grass out of your lawn.

Step 6

Cover Bermuda grass clumps with black plastic to block light or cover them with clear plastic to cook the grass. Cooking the grass is a process known as solarization, which also will destroy Bermuda grass seed.

Things You'll Need

  • Grass-selective herbicide
  • Fescue sod
  • Selective herbicide
  • Rake
  • Black plastic
  • Clear plastic

References

  • Texas A&M Extension: Bermudagrass "The Sports Turf of the South"
  • University of California Extension: Weed Management in Lawns
  • University of California Extension: Bermudagrass
  • "Grounds Maintenance Magazine": A Creeping Menace

Who Can Help

  • Grounds Maintenance Magazine: Putting the Brakes on Bermudagrass
Keywords: eradicating Bermuda grass, killing invasive grass, removing undesirable grass

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."