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How to Kill Grass Stickers

Grass stickers (or burs) grow on annual grassy weeds known as grassburs or sandburs. These weeds can grow amidst your regular grass, although they are less common on well-tended and cared for lawns. Grassburs germinate in the spring and continue to germinate until fall, making them a weed to contend with all growing season long. If you, family, friends or pets spend time out in your lawn, it is essential to get rid of these pesky weeds and their stickers, which fortunately can be killed both before and after they emerge.

Spray a pre-emergent herbicide, such as Pendimethalin or Oryzalin, in the late winter or early spring before the weeds grow. Follow the directions on the label and be sure it is safe for your type of grass. Water your lawn after applying the herbicide.

Mow your grass to the recommended heights. In general, most grasses should be cut around 3 inches in height, but some grass, such as Bermuda grass, must be kept shorter, at an inch or so. Keep your grass consistently at the recommended height and the stickers may not have a chance to form.

Reapply the pre-emergent herbicide every six weeks. Two extra applications may be enough to control a light infestation of grasspurs, but you may need to reapply all the way up until fall, if necessary. Again, water your lawn after applying the herbicide.

Apply a post-emergent herbicide if the grassburs and their stickers still grow or have already grown. It is important to use an herbicide that is safe for your type of grass. Example herbicides that work well for grassburs are ones that contain the active ingredient MSMA, DSMA or Imazaquin. Follow the recommended doses on the label and water your lawn afterwards.


Attach a grass catcher on your lawn mower if you notice stickers when mowing your grass. Maintain a healthy, dense lawn to keep the grass stickers away. This includes proper mowing, watering and fertilizing based on your specific kind of grass.

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