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How to Kill Moss on Sidewalk

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017
Moss can cover your sidewalk in a thick carpet-like mass.

Moss is one of the top 10 most unwanted pests in the garden, according to Washington State University. Not only may you find the plants' ground-hugging growths unsightly, but their slippery texture can also pose a safety hazard in frequently trafficked areas like a sidewalk. Remove, kill and control moss on a sidewalk to preserve your landscape's natural beauty and safety.

Remove the visible moss growths. Use a pressure washer and shoot down the sidewalk, which Oregon State University says is the most effective method of getting rid of moss. If you don't have a pressure washer, use a spade or hoe to scrape off most of the growths.

Collect all of the removed moss and discard it. Leaving the pieces of moss on the sidewalk may simply spread the moss spores and cause new growths in previously clean areas.

Spray the sidewalk with a mossicide product formulated with potassium salts of fatty acids, zinc sulfate or zinc chloride. Potassium is ideal for sidewalks near plants and lawns since it will not harm such vegetation, according to Oregon State University. Zinc products are ideal for long-term control--potassium sprays have little residual effects--but zinc chloride may kill vegetation that's near the sidewalk.

Change the environment of the sidewalk to keep moss from growing back. Prune back surrounding trees and shrubs to increase sunlight and air movement on the sidewalk, and rearrange sprinklers or hoses to keep the concrete from getting wet. Excessive moisture and shade encourages moss production, according to Washington State University.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Hoe or spade
  • Mossicide product

Tip

  • Apply all mossicide products according to their labeled guidelines, since toxicity varies by product. Follow these instructions carefully. For example, some products may need to be mixed with water being applying, while others can be sprayed onto the sidewalk without being diluted.

About the Author

 

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.