While it might well be a popular choice for golf courses and lawns in hotter regions of the world, for most of us, Bermuda grass is a nuisance weed.
Also known as scutch grass, its aggressive nature, and high heat and drought tolerance, means that getting rid of the stuff is easier said than done.
The bad news is that short of ripping everything up or burning the place down, you have limited options.
Thankfully, there are a number of quality products on the market that will help you rid your yard of this noxious foliage – but you’re in for a battle, regardless.
I’ve put together this review of the best weed killers for Bermuda grass of 2020, with a buyer’s guide and FAQ section in case you need some additional help in eradicating this unwanted garden growth.
Because the shorts are good, but the grass is bad.
- Top 9 Best Bermuda Grass Weed Killers 2020
- Bonide (BND7458) Grass Beater Concentrate
- Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
- BioAdvanced 704100B Bermudagrass Control
- Roundup Extended Control Weed and Grass Killer
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
- Bonide (BND7465) Burnout Concentrate
- Monterey LG5518 Turflon Ester Specialty Herbicide
- RM43 Glyphosate Plus Weed Preventer
- PBI Gordon Ornamec Grass Herbicide
- How to Choose the Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass
Top 9 Best Bermuda Grass Weed Killers 2020
Bonide (BND7458) Grass Beater Concentrate
First up we have this Grass Beater from Bonide. It’s a selective systemic weed killer that won’t harm desirable plants, but will attack any weedy grasses that are trying to take over your garden.
Reports of it working well on Bermuda grass are encouraging, and it’s ideal for use in and around vegetable gardens, ground covers, flower beds, shrubs, and trees.
It comes in a concentrated form, so you just add water and apply as directed. The Grass Beater is a post-emergent herbicide for tackling existing unwanted growth around your property, but make sure to use it 30 days before harvesting any crops and stick rigidly to the information label.
- Good value for money.
- Easy to use.
- Trusted brand.
- No glyphosate.
- Instructions aren’t that great.
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
Another grass and weed killer in concentrated form, this product from Compare N Save contains 41% glyphosate – which can be both a good and a bad thing considering the recent developments in banning the active ingredient.
This very popular weed killer will certainly get the job done (many believe that a glyphosate solution is the only real way to kill off Bermuda grass) but it will likely kill everything else as well.
This version is rainproof in two hours, will cover up to 25,000 square feet if used correctly, and will give you visible results between two and four days. It kills to the root, so you should be careful when spraying near wanted or desired plants and blooms.
- Powerful product.
- Very highly rated.
- Value for money.
- Excellent coverage.
- Contains glyphosate.
- Patience required.
BioAdvanced 704100B Bermudagrass Control
This is a dedicated Bermuda grass killer from BioAdvanced that won’t harm the lawns listed on the bottle, but will help control the pesky growth around your property.
A selective weed killer, you can use it on cool-season grasses such as fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. One quart of the product will cover 5000 square feet and is fully rainproof in one hour.
Be careful where you apply it, as it will damage bentgrass, Saint Augustine grass (including flora tam), centipede grass, Bahia grass and Zoysia grass lawns.
The sprayer connects to your garden hose for easy and widespread application, and it can be used around ornamentals, trees, and plants for controlling a variety of nuisance grass weeds.
- Specially formulated for Bermuda grass.
- Versatile for killing other weedy grass.
- Good coverage.
- The hose applicator isn’t the best.
- It can take up to ten days to see results.
Roundup Extended Control Weed and Grass Killer
Roundup is probably the best known and most widely used chemical weed killer on the market – but are its days numbered? Banned in many parts of the world (with some US states following suit) it might not be long before it isn’t available to the general public.
Its active ingredient is glyphosate which is unfortunately highly effective at killing Bermuda grass – and just about everything else it comes into contact with.
This product is their extended control offering, which is designed to also prevent weeds from coming back, not satisfied with killing them in just under three hours.
It’s rainproof in 10 minutes, and suitable for use driveways, sidewalks, and patios; along fences, foundations, curbs, retaining walls and edge of lawns, as well as on decorative rock or gravel areas.
- Powerful weed killer.
- Highly rated.
- Easy to apply.
- Contains glyphosate.
Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
Certified for organic use and OMRI listed, this non-toxic vinegar-based solution is the polar opposite of chemical herbicides. This is safe to use anywhere, and you can eliminate any kind of weed or grass and see visible results in no time.
It’s four times stronger than table vinegar, and will dry out weeds on contact, killing them off completely within 24 hours. You get a heavy-duty trigger sprayer with a gallon of product, which contains no glyphosate or other harsh chemicals and has been made strictly from ethanol distilled from corn grain.
It’s very highly rated and is probably the best safe weed killer for Bermuda grass available.
- Natural formula.
- No dilution required.
- Safe for use around animals and children.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Strong odor.
Bonide (BND7465) Burnout Concentrate
Another Bonide entry now with this Burnout weed killer for use on non-selective herbaceous broadleaf and grassy weeds. It, too, is pet and people safe, which gives you nice peace of mind when using it in your back garden if you have kids and animals running around.
Available in a concentrated form, it’s made with natural ingredients, is fully waterproof when dry, and will offer results in just a few hours of application.
Mixing easily with water, you’ll get good coverage with a spray or pump bottle (sold separately – but a ready-to-use option is also available) with a product that many regard as being better than a chemical herbicide.
Best used around borders, driveways, sidewalks, the base of mature trees, buildings, fence lines, barns, pastures, school grounds, greenhouses, and more – it’s a versatile weed killer that won’t let you down.
- Works in low temperatures.
- 100% natural.
- Results will vary depending on the weed.
Monterey LG5518 Turflon Ester Specialty Herbicide
This Turflon product from Monterey is another weed killer that actually says on the tin that it controls Bermuda grass – which is always a reassuring thing.
Used to nullify actively growing plants that you want rid of, it’s easy to dilute with water for application using a spray tank, and one pint of the stuff will cover up to 20,000 square feet of lawn.
Available in three sizes, it’s designed for use on cool-season grass only, able to control broadleaf weeds in perennial Bluegrass, Ryegrass, or tall Fescue ornamental turfgrass.
It’s up there with the best post-emergent weed killer for Bermuda grass on the market today – and no glyphosate in sight.
- Designed for killing Bermuda grass.
- Excellent coverage.
- Well rated.
- Very expensive.
RM43 Glyphosate Plus Weed Preventer
Containing a potent amount of glyphosate, this is one of the best all-round weed and grass killers that money can buy – and it doesn’t come cheap, at that.
It can treat a huge 43,243 square feet (which seems very exact), and kills right down to the root to destroy pretty much any plant life it comes into contact with. It’s also an effective stump killer, but you should only apply it to areas where absolutely no vegetation is required.
Fully rainproof in two hours and it will keep treated areas clear for up to one year; it’s claimed that there are no entry restrictions for pets or people after it has dried – but caution is strongly advised nonetheless.
- Will kill everything.
- Very highly rated.
- Excellent coverage.
- Long-lasting protection.
- Will kill everything.
- Harsh chemical ingredients.
PBI Gordon Ornamec Grass Herbicide
One of the best post-emergent Bermuda grass killers available, this selective herbicide is safe to use over 500 species of ground covers, flowers, shrubs and trees.
It selectively controls emerged annual grasses, as well as perennial grass – the category of which Bermuda grass falls into.
You can use this product “over-the-top” of existing plants and flowers as described on the label, and it also can be dispensed on and around newly emerging ornamentals as well as transplants.
Effectively stopping the spread of Bermuda grass among desired lawns and blooms, it’s rainfast after one hour, and the treated grasses will cease growth within 48 hours, with complete death between one and three weeks.
- Selective herbicide.
- Powerfully attacks nuisance grasses.
- Highly recommended.
- Mixed results depending on species and application.
How to Choose the Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass
Attempting to kill off Bermuda grass is a tricky endeavor and you’ll need to be armed with the right weed killer in order to be successful.
Below you’ll find things you need to be looking out for when it comes to purchasing the best liquid weed killer for Bermuda grass.
Pre/Post Emergent Herbicides
Herbicides fall into a number of different categories – which I will explain here.
A pre-emergent herbicide will attack and kill weeds as they germinate from their seeds. It will do nothing to existing growth.
It does this by effectively putting a barrier in the soil to stop the seeds from sprouting. However, should this barrier be broken in any way (such as digging up the soil) then the effectiveness of the herbicide could be diminished.
A post-emergent herbicide is for use on weeds that already exist on and around your property. While they are lethal to existing growth, they will do nothing to prevent new weeds from sprouting.
There are some products that attempt to combine the two – with varying degrees of success – but for the most part you should be selecting the right one for the job.
Weed killers also fall into either being selective or non-selective. Knowing the difference is especially important when treating weeds in and around desirable plants, trees, grasses, and crops.
Selective herbicides will only kill certain plants and leave others alone. Check to see which species will be affected with this type of product before making your purchase.
You’ll find that selective herbicides are mostly used for spot-treating weeds in lawn care – where you want to kill the weed, but not the surrounding lawn.
Non-selective herbicides will kill or damage any plant life they come into contact with. They’re utilized more for large areas where no vegetation of any kind is desired.
For Bermuda grass, you’ll find both categories are available, and it will depend on where the problem grass is located that will determine which product you choose.
Two more categories that weed killers fall into.
Contact herbicides will start to kill the weed as soon as the product is applied to the area that requires treating. They will only kill the sprayed part of the plant – and not to the root. The weed is likely to grow back eventually.
The advantage here is that they’re very fast-acting and you’ll see quick results.
Systemic herbicides are fully absorbed by the plant and will travel into the root system via the leaves – totally killing it stone dead. The weed won’t grow back, but it might take a bit more time to perish.
For Bermuda grass, ideally, you want a systemic herbicide as it’s a tough sucker that will keep coming back unless you’re particularly harsh on it.
You want to kill Bermuda grass right to the root – otherwise, you’ll never get rid of it.
There’s a lot of commotion (certainly in the US) in the horticultural world at present with the potential banning of glyphosate – the active ingredient many leading brand herbicides, and perhaps the most popular chemical formula when it comes to eradicating weeds.
It’s still widely available – but for how long remains unclear. Certainly, in many places in Europe, it is outlawed.
So, it’s up to you if you swear by it and want to keep using the stuff – it is still one of the most effective ways to control weeds.
Having said that, non-toxic weed killers are improving all the time and there are excellent alternatives out there.
Consider where you’re going to be using the herbicide, if you have children and/or pets around, and if you really do need to get rid of your weeds with harsh chemicals.
Personally, I’d always lean towards the environmentally friendly option if it can be helped at all.
Quantity and Application
Of course, you should also understand just how much of the stuff you’re going to need to get the job done – and how it’s going to be applied.
Ready-to-apply products usually come with a trigger applicator, or with a spray system as part of the product bottle.
In other cases – such as with concentrated formulas – you need to mix with water and apply with a pump tank or similar spray dispenser.
Just make sure you have the right quantity and applicator – you don’t want to overdo it, or risk getting herbicides anywhere they’re unwanted.
Know the ingredients, understand what they’re used for, understand what they’re not used for, and the type of weed killer it is.
Trust me – you’ll save yourself time, effort, money, and a big headache.
What is Bermuda grass?
Cynodon dactylon, to give it its scientific name, is more commonly known as Bermuda grass (amongst other monikers – including crabgrass).
A native to the eastern hemisphere, it’s known for its aggressive nature, ability to withstand heat, and deep root system.
It’s difficult to eradicate and harm, is fast-growing, and is to be found thriving in hotter climates. As such, it can often be used on golf courses or on other sports playing surfaces.
However, it’s not wanted by everyone – hence the reason behind this article.
What is the best herbicide to kill Bermuda grass?
It depends on a lot of variables, most of which have been covered above in the buyer’s guide.
How aggressive is the grass? How much area does it cover? Is it located near desired plants and/or crops?
The best herbicide for killing Bermuda grass can vary – but sometimes it can just come down to trial and error.
How deep are the roots of Bermuda grass?
Deep. Bermuda grass roots can grow to a depth of six feet – and possibly more – depending on the soil and conditions.
Most of the root system is found in the top six-inches of soil, (around 80% of the weed) and the grass is a creeper, staying close to the ground like a dense, grassy mat.
It thrives in sun, but regresses in shade.
Will vinegar kill Bermuda grass?
If you use industrial-strength vinegar there’s a very good chance it will kill Bermuda grass.
You can make a solution at home (recipes all over the internet) but it’s just not going to be anywhere near as strong as a professionally-concocted formula.
Remember – the vinegar in such a weed killer is going to be many times stronger than the stuff you find in your kitchen at home – and as a non-selective, it will also kill any plant life it comes into contact with – so use with caution.
However, depending on the product – it might not kill right to the root – so take that into consideration.
Does pre-emergent herbicide kill Bermuda grass?
If you find a pre-emergent herbicide that controls crabgrass then yes, you will be able to kill Bermuda grass with this method.
Apply through September, October and November on your soil for the best results.
Will baking soda kill Bermuda grass?
Baking soda isn’t the best weed killing alternative out there and it has mixed results. It may or may not kill your Bermuda grass, and it may or may not kill desired plants and the lawn you actually want to protect.
The best way to use baking soda is to form a protective barrier along flower beds or the lawn edge.
Having said that, you might find good results, especially if used in tandem with a vinegar solution. It keeps the use of harsh chemicals down, too.
Will Roundup kill Bermuda grass?
It most certainly will – and anything else it comes into contact with.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup – which is why you might have seen the brand name in the news.
This stuff will certainly destroy all the weeds you need it to – but it’s a very harsh chemical and should be treated with great care.
And don’t forget to wear a pair of good-quality gardening gloves when you’re doing any kind of manual work in your garden or yard – especially when handling chemicals.
Bermuda grass can be both an effective, durable lawn, and a challenging, aggressive weed. How you view it really depends on your location and needs.
If you’re looking for the best weed killer for Bermuda grass, however, you’ve come to the right place. Let me know which method you would like to try and why.
I would personally start with a non-toxic vinegar compound and work my way to a harsher chemical formula if absolutely necessary.
Or try one of these best commercial weed eaters if you just want to trim the stuff back and keep toxins out of your soil and watercourses.
It is our duty to protect our environment, so we can continue to enjoy it (even if you’re killing some weeds in the process).