The most effective way to eliminate this weed is to pull it up by hand or use a hoe to cut the plant off the deep taproot. Try to do this while it’s still in the flower stage, before it seeds.
A: This is a weed I battle every summer as folks bring us the gift of this seed into our farm area their shoes. The annual weed puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) also known as goat heads, grows in a mat and produces many harmful spiked seeds.
One plant can produce 300 to 5,000 seeds per season, and can grow in mats up to five feet, so it’s definitely a weed you want to start controlling as soon as you see it sprouting up in your yard.
The puncturevine I have recently been pulling up is too mature for control with an herbicide for this summer, as it already has seeds and is past the stage where it’s effective to use a chemical control.
Here is how the University of California (U.C.) describes this pesky weed: “Puncturevine produces many burs (burrs) with sharp spines that can injure humans and animals, as well puncture bicycle tires. (It’s) leaves contain compounds called saponins, which can be toxic to livestock, especially sheep, when eaten in quantity.”
There are two different biocontrol organisms that you can buy. These are a seed-feeding weevil (Microlarinus lareynii) and a stem and crown mining weevil (Microlarinus lypriformis). Use both for the most effective control.
You can purchase puncture vine weevils from biological supply companies, but this method has several drawbacks. Weevils location-sensitive and may not survive if you buy them from a company far away.
The leaves are toxic to animals when consumed in large amounts. In addition, it can cause necrosis of the skin, damage to the eye, and in extreme cases, it may cause deaths in immature or smaller animals.
Sheep are particularly sensitive to goat head weed, and it can cause them to have a photovoltaic response that results in sensitivity to light. If they ingest the leaves, it may cause swelling of ears and lips. The burrs can also become tangled in the wool, which ruins the fiber quality and can cause skin lesions.
Goathead is an invasive species that is native to the Mediterranean. It easily outcompetes native species by smothering them. This causes a lack of diversity and it harms wildlife. Native plants and animals evolved together and support each other, so when an invasive species takes over, it’s bad for the entire local environment.
If you’re lucky enough to not have goat head weed on your property, you still need to remain vigilant. The spiny burrs are made to travel, and people and wildlife unwittingly spread it around.
This noxious weed is widespread in drier climates and is found widely in the U.S. southwest and Rocky Mountain states. It’s expanding its range and has been identified as far north as British Columbia, Canada. Some communities are so desperate to control the species that they are paying a bounty of one dollar per trash bag to people who collect the plants.
This home remedy weed killer get’s a lot of attention because vinegar has been known to kill goat heads, but only when mixed with dish soap. The vinegar in question here is horticultural vinegar that eats through the plant down to the root. However, the results are not instant and might take a while for the weeds to die. Vinegar is also not effective in killing the seeds, which means goat heads might still grow back in the future.
It’s best to avoid using them three weeks before seeding your lawn or wait until at least six weeks after.
You can get rid of young goat heads by using weed killers and giving them a few days to wither and die. In the case of mature plants and seeds:
Can I Use Vinegar To Kill Goat Heads?
Goat heads, also known as the Devil’s Weed for a very good reason, are an invasive species of weed that grows on almost every continent. They can also be a menace to your kids and pets, especially if you’ve got them in your yard. They have built a reputation of being stubborn to kill, but with proper knowledge, you can learn how to get rid of goat heads permanently.
Weed killer sprays are perfect for dealing with young goat heads that are starting to sprout.
After burning, you’ll need to use these follow-up steps:
That’s not all, as you still need to know which weed killer spray to use, when to use the flame weeder, and how to permanently get rid of goat head problems from your yard, which you will learn if you read on.