Bermudagrass Information

January 22, 2007

Botanical Name:

Cynodon dactylon

Common names:

Bermudagrass, Couch grass, Devil's grass, Dog's Tooth Grass, Wiregrass, Scutch Grass, and Common Quickgrass


Bermudagrass (wire grass) is a perennial grassy weed that spreads rapidly by way of creeping underground rhizomes. For years, it has been widely grown as a heavy-duty turf grass or forage grass in moist tropical regions worldwide. Many hybrids have been developed, including varieties adaptable to colder climates. For this reason, Bermudagrass has become a noxious weed in areas where it has been introduced, due to its ability to survive (and thrive) under almost any conditions. It usually shows up first and ready to take over, anywhere the ground has been disturbed. Contact with this grass can cause skin irritations in some individuals and the pollen is a common allergen.

Effective Means of Control


Weeds that re-grow from persistent roots must have their roots dug up. Starting in the center of the plant, use a sharp shovel or spade to loosen the soil in a 10-inch perimeter around the plant. Lift the weed up and out from below, taking as much of the taproot and as many of the smaller root pieces as you can. This method is generally easier to do when the soil around the weed is wet and is necessary for weeds with long taproots.


To effectively control weeds with mulch, you need to apply it thick enough to "take away their sunshine." You can hardly mulch your whole yard, but you can mulch around edgings, under trees and along walkways. Two inches deep is the absolute minimum for effective weed control, or if your using newspaper, you'll need at least 4 to 6 sheets. Avoid using straw, grass clippings or compost, which is likely to contain more weed seeds. Scraps of carpeting or landscaping cloth covered in stones are also effective ways to block out the light.

Organic Herbicides:

Organic herbicides containing eugenol (clove oil), citric acid or acetic acid (strong vinegar) have been found to be effective in fighting young weeds. Soap-based herbicides also work well by destroying the cutin layer of the leaves (the layer that seals in moisture), and causes plants to quickly dehydrate and die.

Like synthetic herbicides, organic herbicides are not selective and will damage any neighboring plants they come in contact with. Heavy use of acetic acid will also eventually lower your soils pH, making it more acidic. Make sure if you're using organic herbicides, that you apply them on calm days.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

How do I kill Wire grass (Bermuda) in my yard and flower beds? Seems I recall reading about a product in the form of a spray, that would kill it and not the grass or flowers. I do not recall where I read about it. Can anyone help me please?


By Paula Jo C. from Mebane, NC


January 12, 20170 found this helpful

It's been 8 years since you posted your question. I just now happened to see it. I hope by now you have found an answer, though I doubt you have.

I live less than 60 miles from you. I can tell you, you can blame the area you live in for your problems with Bermuda. It is everywhere in our region. Mostly wild, a lot has been planted. In cemeteries, golf courses and even in lawns.

I fought Bermuda for 20 years before giving in. I wanted a beautiful Fescue lawn and I dug out Bermuda all those years. It was useless. I spoke with an ag agent who said the only thing I could was remove all the soil from the lawn and refill it and then plant Fescue.


I said, 'Bermuda is growing all around me. There are patches of it in all my neighbor's yards. If I did redo the whole lawn, it wouldn't be long before Bermuda would re establish itself in my lawn by seed from their lawns'. He said, 'Well, you're right'.

Then I asked if there was a product that would selectively kill Bermuda and not harm my Fescue. He said there was no such product on the market. Anything that would kill Bermuda would kill your other grass and flowers.

It was then that I decided to sow the lawn in Bermuda. I did, with one of the better hybrids. Now, I have the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. The only thing I don't like about it is that it goes dormant and turns an ugly brown each winter. If a green lawn is desired all year round, Bermuda can be overseeded each Fall with perennial rye.


I've learned to 'make do' with my Bermuda lawn. I heavily mulch foundation plantings. That helps keep the Bermuda down in those areas. As for my flower beds, I now grow everything in sunken tubs. Occasionally, a sprig or two of Bermuda will creep in, but it is so easy to remove. Here is a link to show my sunken tubs.

If during the past 8 years, you have found that product which will kill Bermuda and not harm your other grass or flowers, please post back here and let us know. I, and a few million others would love to know is name.

I hated giving in to Bermuda. Maybe you can do better. I wish you luck.


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