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Ways to Kill Buffalo Grass in the Lawn

Buffalo grass, Charleston grass or St. Augustine grass (Buchloe dactyloides) is a shade-tolerant warm season grass. Its characteristic of growing and spreading quickly to cover a spot serves as its biggest drawback in areas you do not want it to grow. Removing this invasive pest in such areas becomes necessary to restore the health and vigor of the other grass already growing there.


Dig out small infestations of buffalo grass by hand. This inexpensive but laborious task ensures you remove the entire plant from the soil, along with the roots. Select this method for removing invasive buffalo grass growing along flowerbeds or in small patches across your lawn. Dig a shallow trench around the grass with a hand held shovel to loosen it. Hold it firmly and pull it along with its roots.

Chemical Herbicide

Use a strong chemical herbicide to kill an entire lawn or other large infestations of buffalo grass. Glyphosate-based herbicides are very powerful and eradicate unwanted vegetation immediately. For best results, apply the herbicide on actively growing grass. Such herbicides are easily available in nurseries or garden supply centers. Always wear a face mask and gloves when handling the herbicide. Glyphosate herbicide is broad spectrum, so cover nearby plants that you do not want to kill with a tarp prior to application. Follow manufacturers directions for spraying. The grass dies in a few hours to several days. Such herbicides are harmful if you have children or pets, as they also leave chemicals in the soil.

Newspaper or Plastic Tarp

Opt for an environmentally safe way of removing buffalo grass, especially if you have children or pets. Mow the grass as short as possible and spread a layer of heavyweight black plastic or eight sheets of newspapers over the grass. Weigh them down with an even layer of mulch on top or place rocks and stones along the edges. The lawn grass dies in two to three weeks because it fails to receive the sunlight, water and air that are compulsory to its survival.

White Vinegar

Another environmentally safe way of killing unwanted buffalo grass is to spray household white vinegar over the area. For best results, use household vinegar that contains 7 to 9 per cent or higher amounts of acetic acid. Use this method in the summers, because the heat of the sun speeds up the burning process, thus killing the buffalo grass quicker. Spray or pour it over the invasive grass, depending on the amount of you want to kill. This strong acid targets the plant and dries it immediately. Repeat application after several days for grass that still remains.

Blow Torch

Torch sprigs of buffalo grass growing in small non-flammable spaces such as cracks between cobbled pathways or driveways. Position the flame directly over the plant until it burns and dies. Work slowly and carefully to prevent burning yourself.

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