Will Vinegar Kill Goat Heads?

Goat head weeds can be eliminated naturally in a number of methods. There are effective weed killer sprays made of vinegar, citrus, and iron. These are all capable of dealing with goat heads.

You can use natural pre-emergent controls, such as corn gluten meal, as an alternative to chemical treatments in addition to using natural sprays to kill goat heads. By drying out seeds as they try to sprout, corn gluten meal serves to prevent seed germination, eliminating weeds before you even notice them.

Will Vinegar Kill Goat Heads?

Vinegar will undoubtedly make goat heads droop, but it won’t completely eradicate weeds when used as a homemade weed killer.

We advise combining horticultural vinegar with a tiny amount of dish soap if you want to test out vinegar as a weed killer. The vinegar can eat through the leaf cuticle and harm the plant since the soap makes it easier for the vinegar to stick to the goat head leaves.

Although it’s sometimes advised to combine salt and vinegar in your weed killer, bear in mind that while vinegar quickly washes out of the soil, salt may persist and hinder the growth of plants and grass.

What is going to kill goat heads?

We should note that treatments like Epsom salts or even iron salts are ineffective herbicides against goat head weed before discussing how to control it. This is because they unintentionally kill the foliage, leaving the deep taproot—which still produces foliage during the mature development stage—behind. This needs to be said again, so we will in the herbicide part.

Regardless of whether you choose to remove the substance through mechanical, natural, or chemical means, know that you are doing the right thing. By avoiding seed heads that can embed themselves in your hands, feet, and bicycle tires as well as your tires, you’ll avoid the need for antibiotic cream. You don’t want a stroll by the railroad tracks or other easily accessible locations to turn out poorly.

Without Chemicals

What is the best way to get rid of goat head weeds? Kill them with fire if necessary! Utilize a blowtorch for this. When plants are young in the spring or when all of the plant’s components are present in the summer, use fire. Plants should only be burned until they are sufficiently scorched at the top of the root mass. This stops the leaves from growing back and kills the plant in real terms. Before using fire to kill weeds, one thing to keep in mind is to check your local rules. A propane torch weeder might do more harm than good if, like me, you live somewhere where there is a fire ban in place. Pre-watering can help stop the spread of fire, so keep a water hose handy just in case. On dry, breezy days, stay away from this technique at all costs.

Dragging an old carpet behind a vehicle is an intriguing and efficient mechanical technique. For those who dwell on large parcels of land, or even just a few acres, this is fantastic. Any burrs that are still on the ground will be picked up by the carpet as it drags. As necessary, repeat the procedure. Also keep in mind that this procedure only removes seed pods; it doesn’t kill growing plants, so you’ll need to combine it with other approaches. However, you’ll also avoid damaging your foot or a bicycle tire.

Another effective but time-consuming technique is to hand pull the plant from the ground, exposing the entire woody taproot. Pull the plant slowly in a sideways motion as opposed to tugging it upwards, which will undoubtedly destroy the taproot. By delaying leaf growth, breaking off the taproot only offers a short-term solution. To conserve some energy, perform this by hand or with a weed extractor or puller. Rake the area afterwards to get rid of any last seed capsules. Use this control strategy whenever it’s not winter and the foliage has fallen down but the taproots are still there.

Organic Goat Weed Controls

Release of pierce vine weevils is another method for getting rid of the devil’s claw in your yard, garden, or pasture. For those with a lot of land, this approach works best. Pulling them is preferable if you’re only dealing with a few plants. Depending on the species, the weevils eat seeds or stems. Microlarinus lypriformis larvae consume seeds, whereas Microlarinus lareynii adults consume stems. Both are necessary for the efficient removal of goat head weed. To find out if dealing with weevils is feasible, speak with your neighborhood agricultural extension office. They are not native insects, therefore they won’t want to destroy their environment, which means they won’t totally eradicate the plants you want them to. This is one drawback of releasing them in large numbers. They work best when the seeds are first planted.

As we have previously said, organic pesticides based on iron salts only harm the leaves of goat head plants, not the taproot. We do not advise using those as a reliable control. Instead, spray new plants that haven’t set seed with a white vinegar solution that has at least 5% acidity. To kill the taproot, cover the place where you removed them with a tarp. With a 15% acidity, horticultural vinegar functions similarly but is far more potent. Wear safety equipment if you’ve opted to use this as a control. Goggles and a ventilation mask are beneficial. On a windy day, avoid applying it. Vinegar used in agriculture is not amusing! You should not let any of this contact your skin or eyes. Don’t spray vinegar on the plants in the area. If they are exposed, they will perish. When the plants are fully mature in the summer, use this control. Remove any remaining seed pods with a rake.

Chemical Herbicide

Glyphosate and oryzalin are two chemical control types that are effective at getting rid of goat head weed. Because both kinds of chemical weed killers are broad-spectrum sprays, they will kill any plants they come into contact with. Because of this, it is absolutely essential to use extreme caution while applying chemical control on goat heads. Applying oryzalin is best done in the late winter or early spring. Cover the area with a tarp after spraying it to avoid evaporation in the sun and to shield you and your family from chemical exposure. The same is true for glyphosate, except that it must be used from late spring through fall when the goat head is fully grown. On a windy day, avoid using these potent chemical sprays since they may damage surrounding plants. Before using these controls, always read the safety labels on them. Don’t forget to give yourself enough time in between spraying and growing new plants. You don’t want to go through the full planting process only to have fresh seedlings perish from chemical contact.

How do I remove the goat head decals from my yard?

Hello Neil Our entire yard is being overrun with agonizing, prodigious goathead stickers. How can we entirely rid our yard of these plants so that we may once again use our outdoor space?

The answer is negative! Goatheads are major league variations of the lightweight small grassburs, as anyone with firsthand (or firstfoot) experience will attest. Footballs and bicycle tires can both be pierced by goatheads. Having been there Spray a broadleaf weedkiller containing 2,4-D over their foliage to control weeds. Even then, it takes 10 to 15 days to completely eliminate the weeds; it works best when they are growing the fastest. Naturally, whether or not you kill the plants, the goatheads themselves serve as the seeds for the following year. Next year, three things would be your best bets. Early in March and early in June, apply a pre-emergent weedkiller containing Gallery. Second, use the broadleafed 2,4-D spray earlier the following year, before the plants go to seed, if you still notice a few of them sprouting and growing in the spring and early summer. Third, make every effort to promote healthier turfgrass. The better rainfall, which should help your grass to thicken and push out the weeds, is to be hoped for. (For the record, broadleaf weedkillers will not in any way aid in the control of grassburs. There, a pre-emergent like Dimension, Team, Balan, or Halts is your only option.)

Hello Neil In full light, I have three crape myrtles that are five years old. Despite being in the same location and receiving the same care, for the past two years, they have had a lot of buds that have not opened. They have received irrigation from an automated sprinkler system. What can we do to make that right?

Specifically this year, a lot of crape myrtles’ blooming cycles have stalled out. I spend a lot of time working on a crape myrtle project for a non-profit, where I’ve observed over 8,000 plants of roughly 40 different types. You can actually tell this year that the cultivars weathered the heat and drought differently. Therefore, even with appropriate irrigation, that heat may be contributing to your problem. That being said, I’ve been asked this exact question throughout my whole career, and up until this year, each and every one of the dozens of cases I had actually seen in person had turned out to be seed heads that had formed right after the flowering. People would leave for a week or two and return to find their crape myrtles exactly as they had left them. Strangely enough, the seed heads of crape myrtles resemble their enlarged flower buds. Try slicing through one of them with a single-edged razor to see if you can spot any seeds or early flower buds by cutting through one of them. This is a comprehensive response, and I hope at least some of it is useful.

Hello Neil My Knockout roses have experienced a terrible summer. They are nearly barren because to the heat, drought, and grasshoppers. Do I need to cut them back?

Answer: At this point in the season, trimming them down by up to 25% is acceptable, but I wouldn’t go beyond that. You should see good bloom in six to eight weeks if you can gently rearrange them, administer a high-nitrogen fertilizer to encourage new fall growth, and water them deeply to get the fertilizer into the root zone.

Late Winter/Spring (MarchJune)

As a prophylactic measure, spread a pre-emergent weed killer like Surflan, which contains oryzalin and trifluralin. I’ve also tried a natural weed killer with success: Spray vigorously after combining a gallon of water with 1/2 cup of Epsom salts and 1/2 cup of vinegar.) Spraying any “good” ground covers is not advised because you want them to grow and deny the Evil One a place to hide.


  • If there are significant infestations, sweep the area with your propane weed burner while remaining close to the ground to destroy as many root systems as you can. Use a weed killer after your burn to eliminate any remaining underground weed roots. You won’t need to rake if you use a weed burner.
  • Spray weed killer on them as soon as you notice their tiny green bodies. Advice: Spray, followed by a week-long covering with a sun-blocking tarp. I begin this procedure near to my home and work my way out. When the plants have turned yellow or brown, peek under the tarp; then, take off the tarp and proceed to the next step. (Note: You can spray these at any time of year, but start on schedule the following year to completely get rid of them from your yard.)
  • With your upright weeder, remove the goat’s head plants, including the roots. You can pull them out by hand if you are limber enough to do so and there aren’t many plants to get rid of, but be sure to use safety gloves. To get the entire root system out, grasp the entire plant as closely to the ground as you can and slowly pull sideways. The plant typically snaps off when pulled straight up, leaving the roots in place.
  • Remove all of the goat’s head debris with a rake, then dispose of it in the trash. After clearing the area, do a last sweep to remove any thorns. Never forget to burn or throw away goat’s head weeds and thorns. If you don’t they reseed like crazy.
  • Plant wildflowers and any other ground covers you can to suffocate the goat’s head plants if you haven’t used chemicals.
  • Take a seat and enjoy a cool one!

Fall/Early Winter

The first freeze will eliminate goat’s head weed if you reside in a region with severe winters. However, as was already mentioned, the plant actively reproduces, so make sure to remove any thorns, stems, leaves, and roots from your property. Put these in the garbage or burn them.

Mix one gallon of water with half a cup of Epsom salts and half a cup of vinegar. Thoroughly mist.

Do goat skulls contain poison?

Goathead burrs can cause mouth, tongue, and digestive tract ulcers in grazing animals because of their sharp spikes. Animals’ fur, feet, and hooves become encrusted with burrs, which spread to other areas and inflict damage. Since the plants contain two deadly substances, eating any of the plant’s other components can be harmful as well. One of these is nitrate, which can harm livestock when consumed in large quantities.

Breathing difficulties, loss of appetite, stumbling, and blue tongue and eye whites are some of the symptoms. According to Veterinary Research Communications, goathead plants also contain poisonous steroidal saponins that can make sheep more susceptible to hepatogenic photosensitivity. Animals with the condition grow sensitive to light and may even go blind. Skin wounds start to bleed, and ears and lip swelling follow. In extreme circumstances, sheep may lose their lips and ears in addition to their young.

Will vinegar harm my grass?

Vinegar eliminates grass and weeds. However, because it is a nonselective herbicide, it will also destroy adjacent grass and plants. It can be beneficial to use it to kill weeds in driveway cracks and other isolated locations, but be sure to keep it away from any grasses or plants you want to save.

How can I naturally get rid of the stickers on my yard?

Though chemical-based weed killers are an option, they frequently emit toxic fumes that should not be present around your family or pets. Fortunately, white vinegar effectively kills grass burrs and stickers.

Does goat head burning work?

Your yard will become overrun with goat heads, and stepping on their burrs can hurt. Additionally, they have been known to hurt dogs, children playing in backyards, and flatten bicycle tires. For a brief period of time, mowing your lawn could assist you get rid of these weeds.

Use a post-emergent herbicide on goat heads for a long-lasting solution. The plant and the seeds can be killed by burning them. To stop the seeds from growing in the future, cultivate the land.