Bermuda grass invasion

Asked September 7, 2018, 8:33 AM EDT

Hi – a couple of years ago we started noticing some bright colored patch of grass in early spring, our lawn care company said it was nothing to worry about. Now, two years later, we have a huge invasion of Bermuda grass throughout our back yard and some spots now in the front; lawn is over 1/3 acre total. I have tried many chemicals to kill it off and control it. I used round up several times and had it tilled up, and thought it was dead, but of course it springs back to life. It seems to be an on going effort to just control it, but meanwhile the lawn stresses and he other lawn grasses do not have much chance to grow to counter the Bermuda type grass. What do you recommend for getting rid of this issue? It appears to be all over the Howard County area, in many of my neighbors yards, and is there anything at all the county or state is doing or can recommend to overcome this? Thank you so much.

Howard County Maryland lawns and turf possible japanese stiltgrass bermudagrass

3 Responses

Just want to double check that you are dealing with bermudagrass. Some of your comments in your question suggest that Japanese stiltgrass is the weed. Please refer to the following information on our website on Japanese stiltgrass and bermudagrass,
Japanese stiltgrass is easy to pull out of the ground but bermudagrass is not.
Japanese stiltgrass has been a huge problem this summer and we have gotten questions from many folks in Howard County about it.
The county or state is not involved in controlling it.


Thanks for your response. Was waiting for rain to let us to take pics. I’m pretty sure it’s Bermuda but can you confirm? It’s very difficult to pull out of ground, lots of rizomes. Pic one is close up of grass not cut for a while, pic 2 is a spot tilled and reseeded but Bermuda is the only thing that is growing (after 2 months), pic 3 is close up of a large patch across from the driveway that was more recently cut.

Looks like Bermudagrass. The long rhizomes are a big clue.
It is very difficult to eradicate. Here is our webpage about it:
Note that the ingredient Fenoxaprop only "suppresses". It does not get rid of it.

To get rid of it, you must use a systemic herbicide--one that is absorbed down into the roots. Glyphosate is the recommendation. The grass must be green and growing when you spray. Bermudagrass grows most in the summer. (Tall fescue grows best in spring and fall, and the best time to plant it is early fall.)

Fall is usually an excellent time to kill perennial weeds (including grass weeds) because they are pulling nutrients down into their roots for the winter and will translocate the herbicide to the roots better. If you decide to reseed this fall, you will probably need to spray twice, spacing the applications by a week or more to see if any Bermudagrass survives the first spray. Be certain to kill all of it. The trick is to kill the roots. Ideally, you would have started this process in midj-August.

Read through this publication for how to renovate lawns:

If you kill the Bermudagrass and then reseed your lawn, and then see a bit of Bermudagrass you missed--Dig It Up immediately. And be sure to get all the root.