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How to Kill Pond Grass

By Kim Hoyum ; Updated September 21, 2017

The simplest way to get rid of pond grass is to go out and pull, cut or rake it up. If this does not work long-term, you may want to apply a form of pond herbicide to the unwanted grass. Always follow the labeled directions exactly with herbicides. A final approach is to introduce biological controls such as vegetation-eating fish.

Pull, cut, or rake the pond grass. If your pond is shallow, you may be able to get to the unwanted grasses by wearing chest waders and walking into the pond. If it is deep, a boat may be necessary.

Pull up the grass while wearing tough gloves, or use a pond or pool rake to uproot it from the pond bottom or shoreline. Place it in a collection container like a bucket or basket, or in a net or box in the boat.

Apply herbicides if the grass comes back. Choose one designed for the size and type of your pond and one that will work on pond grass. These may include Reward, Sonar or Rodeo. Be sure to follow all directions carefully. Many herbicides require more than one application.

Spray the herbicide from shore or from a boat. You can use a herbicide sprayer or a boat bailing mechanism for this. Be sure to clean up all containers well after use for herbicide application (see Resources).

Plant grass carp in your pond. If you want to avoid the use of herbicide, a longer-term solution is to introduce fish into the pond that will eat the pond grass. The most popular fish for this approach is the grass carp. Check with your local fish and game agency to obtain fingerlings.


Things You Will Need

  • Chest waders
  • Garden gloves
  • Pond or pool rake
  • Collection bucket or basket
  • Aquatic herbicide
  • Boat, if needed
  • Grass carp fingerlings


  • The best time to get rid of weeds and grass in your pond is early in the growing season. In most of the United States, this means in the spring.
  • Once the grass is gone, you can lay down filtering fabric on the pond bottom where you don't want it to grow, stopping any more grass from rooting there.


  • Always use aquatic herbicides in a period of sunny weather. Applying them on rainy or cloudy days can result in fish kills. Also note that some states require a permit before applying herbicides.
  • Check with your local Department of Natural Resources for guidelines on using grass carp or other fish in your pond. In some areas, such as the Great Lakes watersheds, they are considered an invasive species and can't be used.

About the Author


Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.