The Best Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass of 2022

To reach its full potential, Bermuda grass needs plenty of sun, warm temps, and protection from weeds. Find out which weed killers are best suited for this drought-tolerant grass.

By Glenda Taylor | Published Jul 22, 2022 9:27 AM

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The Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Some turfgr ass types wilt at the first sign of temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, drought, or salty sea spray, but Bermuda grass keeps its cool under these harsh conditions, making it well suited to southern states and coastal regions. On the downside, Bermuda grass is relatively high maintenance, has nutrient requirements, and is susceptible to weeds such as crabgrass, clover, and nutsedge.

Those looking to establish a yard of lush Bermuda grass might need to apply a weed killer once or more during the summer growing season, depending on the types of weeds that become a problem. Ahead, learn more about getting rid of weeds without damaging Bermuda grass, and find out why the following products are among the best Bermuda grass weed killers on the market today.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate
  3. BEST FOR CRABGRASS: BASF Drive XLR8 Crabgrass Herbicide
  4. BEST PRE-EMERGENT: The Andersons Barricade Pre-Emergent Weed Control
  5. BEST FOR NUTSEDGE: Image Kills Nutsedge Concentrate
  6. BEST ORGANIC OPTION: Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
The Best Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass

The primary thing to remember when choosing a weed killer for a Bermuda grass lawn is to use one that won’t harm the grass. A nonselective weed killer will destroy both the weeds and the Bermuda grass, so choose carefully. It’s also good to consider the application method and how often you’ll need to reapply.

Coverage and Application 

The best weed killer products for keeping a Bermuda grass lawn looking lush and uniform come in both granular and liquid form. The granular type is applied with a drop spreader. The liquid type usually comes in concentrated form. It is diluted with water in a pump-type sprayer and then sprayed on the lawn, or it might come in a dispenser bottle that attaches to a garden hose for easy application.

Both types are beneficial, but read the product’s instructions. Some types of liquid weed killer are designed to be applied when no rain is in the forecast, while other types require spraying down the lawn after application. Coverage varies by product and container size.

Pre-Emergent vs. Post-Emergent

Weed killers, by definition, are always post-emergent, which means they will kill weeds that are already growing. In other words, the weeds have emerged from their seeds.

Pre-emergent herbicides work by creating a barrier that keeps new weed seeds from sprouting. Either type of herbicide is suitable for treating Bermuda grass lawns, but don’t use a pre-emergent if you plan to overseed the lawn within a few months. Pre-emergents will not only keep weed seeds from sprouting, but they’ll also keep new Bermuda seeds from germinating.

Selectivity and Residual Effects

Weed killers (not pre-emergents) are further classified by whether they’re selective or nonselective. The only type suitable for use on a Bermuda lawn is selective.

  • Selective: Only a selective weed killer should be used on a Bermuda lawn. Selective means the product kills various unwanted weeds, such as nutsedge or crabgrass, but it won’t damage Bermuda grass. An example of a grass-safe selective weed killer is 2,4-D, which kills broadleaf weeds but won’t harm Bermuda.
  • Nonselective: This type of weed killer kills everything it lands on—including desirable lawn grasses. The most well-known nonselective weed killer is glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup. If inadvertently used on a Bermuda lawn, it will kill both the weeds and the grass.

Safety

Chemical weed killers may contain ingredients that can harm humans, pets, and the environment. As a result, weed killers come with the following warning: “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” Standard precautions will apply, but read and follow the label carefully since some products may differ.

  • Don’t deviate from instructions: If the product calls for diluting, don’t mix a stronger solution than recommended, and make sure to treat the lawn when children or pets are not around.
  • Wear protective clothing: Long sleeves, long pants, and gloves will help keep the solution off the skin, and a pair of work goggles—or at least sunglasses—will protect the eyes.
  • Apply on a calm day: Windblown weed killer may not damage the Bermuda grass, but it could kill nearby ornamental plants.
  • Stay off the lawn: Different weed killers come with varied recommendations, but pets and kids should typically stay off the lawn until a liquid weed killer is completely dry. Some manufacturers recommend staying off for up to 72 hours for maximum safety.

Our Top Picks

To qualify for a spot in this lineup, the following products had to contain ingredients known to kill weeds but not damage Bermuda grass. The products had to be straightforward to apply—we allowed for some measuring and mixing—but we excluded products if the user had to reapply the solution multiple times for a successful treatment. While individual lawn needs vary, one of the picks in our lineup is sure to be a good choice for getting rid of weeds in your Bermuda grass lawn.

Best Overall

The Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass Option: Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer
Photo: amazon.com

Dandelions, henbit, and other broadleaf weeds can quickly spread and take over a Bermuda grass lawn. One of the quickest and most effective ways to stop them is by applying a weed-killing product such as Southern Ag Amine, which contains 2,4-D, the abbreviation for 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. The product comes as a concentrated liquid in a 1-quart bottle that should be diluted at the rate of 2 to 3 tablespoons per 3 to 5 gallons of water.

One bottle will treat up to 8 acres when diluted at the weakest ratio. Follow application instructions—care should be taken not to allow the solution to splash on the skin. Likewise, don’t allow pets or children on the lawn while the solution is still wet.

Product Specs

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Dilute and apply via sprayer

Pros

  • Kills broadleaf weeds
  • Won’t harm Bermuda grass when applied as directed
  • Suitable for lawns, pastures, ditch banks

Cons

  • Requires measuring and diluting

Get the Southern Ag weed killer for Bermuda grass on Amazon

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass Option: Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate
Photo: amazon.com

You don’t have to spend a lot for a product that will kill broadleaf weeds, keeping your Bermuda grass lawn looking uniform and healthy. Ortho WeedClear Lawn is a concentrated liquid that will treat up to 5,000 square feet of lawn at an attractive price point.

The active ingredient in WeedClear is 2,4-D, which is designed to target and kill weeds such as dandelions, invasive crabgrass, and wild clover without affecting Bermuda grass. The solution can be diluted and applied with a pump sprayer (follow dilution instructions carefully), or it can be used with Ortho’s specially designed Dial N Spray applicator that attaches to a garden hose (sold separately).

Product Specs 

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Pump-type sprayer or Dial N Spray applicator.

Pros

  • Kills broadleaf weeds
  • Affordable
  • Rainproof in 1 hour

Cons

  • Requires diluting or purchase of special applicator

Get the Ortho WeedClear weed killer for Bermuda grass at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Lowe’s.

Best for Crabgrass

The Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass Option: BASF Drive XLR8 Crabgrass Herbicide
Photo: amazon.com

The bane of landscapers everywhere, crabgrass is coarse, unattractive, and spreads like crazy. At the first sign of crabgrass, it’s a good idea to treat the entire lawn, or more clumps will likely soon appear. BASF Drive XLR8 (pronounced “accelerate”) contains the active ingredient Quinclorac, a highly effective chemical that kills crabgrass but won’t harm Bermuda grass.

XLR8 comes as a concentrated liquid that should be diluted and applied with a pump- or tank-type sprayer. In addition to being one of the best ways to control crabgrass, XLR8 will also kill bindweed, dandelion, foxtail, and a handful of other invasive broadleaf weeds.

Product Specs 

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Dilute and apply with pump or tank sprayer

Pros

  • Fast acting
  • Kills even mature crabgrass
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Requires measuring and mixing

Get the BASF weed killer for Bermuda grass at Amazon, Phoenix Environmental Design, or Sunspot Supply.

Best Pre-Emergent

The Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass Option: The Andersons Barricade Pre-Emergent Weed Control
Photo: amazon.com

An ounce of prevention can keep a Bermuda lawn lush and weed-free all summer long. The Andersons Barricade Weed Control is a pre-emergent product, so it’s best suited for keeping weed seeds from sprouting in lawns that are already virtually weed-free. Barricade comes in a granular formulation for applying with an ordinary garden-type drop spreader. After application, the yard must be watered or receive rainfall to activate the product.

Barricade contains the active ingredient prodiamine, which dissolves and then forms a barrier at the surface of the soil that keeps seeds from sprouting. Seed-stopping protection lasts up to 60 days, so don’t use it within 2 months of overseeding the lawn.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granular
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Pre-emergent
  • Application method: Drop spreader

Pros

  • Prevents weed seeds from sprouting
  • Won’t harm grass or ornamentals
  • Lasts up to 60 days

Cons

  • Won’t kill existing weeds
  • Can’t overseed lawn for 60 days

Get The Andersons weed killer for Bermuda grass at Amazon, The Home Depot, or The BuildClub.

Best for Nutsedge

The Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass Option: Image Kills Nutsedge Concentrate
Photo: acehardware.com

With tubers and rhizomes that can grow as deep as 14 inches and spread below the soil surface, nutsedge is one of the more challenging weeds to get rid of. It’s perennial, meaning it may appear to die in the fall only to come back with a vengeance the next spring.

Image Kills Nutsedge Concentrate contains the active ingredient Imazaquin, which is absorbed by the nutsedge weed and transferred all the way to the roots to kill the entire plant. A 24-ounce bottle of concentrated Image solution will treat up to 6,000 square feet of lawn. After spraying nutsedge weeds, be patient; the weeds will turn yellow in 1 to 2 weeks and die in 3 to 5 weeks.

Product Specs

  • Form: Concentrated liquid
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Post-emergent
  • Application method: Dilute, pump sprayer

Pros

  • Kills nutsedge
  • Won’t harm Bermuda grass
  • Kills additional weeds, including sandbur and dollarweed

Cons

  • Requires mixing and measuring

Get the Image weed killer for Bermuda grass at Ace Hardware or The Home Depot.

Best Organic Option

The Best Weed Killers For Bermuda Grass Option: Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
Photo: amazon.com

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer forms a barrier on the surface of the soil that keeps weed seeds from sprouting, and it contains only natural ingredients. In addition to controlling unwanted weeds, it also fertilizes the lawn, making it the best weed-and-feed product in this lineup.

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer contains corn gluten meal—a natural, organic ingredient that functions as a pre-emergent to keep weed seeds from germinating. In addition, this granular product contains nitrogen, the nutrient grass needs for robust growth and to develop rich color. Best of all, because it has no harmful chemicals, there’s no need to worry about pets and children playing on a lawn after treatment. A 25-pound bag of this organic product treats up to 1,250 square feet of lawn.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granular
  • Pre-emergent or post-emergent: Pre-emergent
  • Application method: Drop spreader

Pros

  • Keeps weed seeds from sprouting
  • Safer organic ingredients
  • Includes nitrogen for greening

Cons

  • Won’t kill existing weeds

Get the Espoma weed killer for Bermuda grass at Ace Hardware, True Value, or SHC Supply.

Our Verdict

Our lineup’s products will kill weeds or prevent weed seeds from sprouting, but our overall best pick, Southern Ag weed killer for Bermuda grass, tops the list. It contains 2,4-D, which is known for killing weeds without harming Bermuda grass. Our best bang for the buck pick, Ortho WeedClear weed killer for Bermuda grass, also kills broadleaf weeds, won’t harm Bermuda grass, and comes at an attractive price point.

How We Chose the Best Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass

In choosing the best weed killers for Bermuda grass lawns, we focused on ingredients that are known to kill a variety of weeds, such as 2,4-D, while leaving Bermuda grass unharmed.

We also looked at products that prevent weed seeds from sprouting, known as pre-emergent herbicides. These products form a barrier on the surface of the soil that lasts anywhere from 2 to 4 months. The downside is that while pre-emergents stop weed seeds from germinating, they also prevent beneficial seeds from germinating, so they should not be used before reseeding a lawn.

When choosing the products, we placed a lot of value on reputable brands, such as Ortho. Still, we didn’t automatically exclude smaller or niche brands if they contained ingredients known to be effective and if former buyers had good experiences with them.

Tips for Using Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass

Treat the lawn with a selective weed killer at the first sign of weeds. When caught early, weeds don’t have time to spread, so they’ll do less damage to the lawn. In addition:

  • Choose a product such as 2,4-D that won’t damage Bermuda grass.
  • Consider applying a pre-emergent before common weeds, such as dandelions, go to seed in your region.
  • If you spot one or two rogue weeds that escaped the weed killer, spray them individually with a ready-to-use selective weed killer safe for use on Bermuda grass.

FAQs

Choosing a grass weed killer that rids the lawn of undesirable weeds requires a bit of research. But, it’s not difficult once you understand the basic concept of selecting a product that kills broadleaf weeds without harming Bermuda or other types of grasses. Those trying to eradicate weeds in a Bermuda grass lawn for the first time likely have some questions.

Q: What happens if I use too much weed killer?

A weed killer can damage Bermuda grass and stunt its growth when applied in too strong a mixture. Always follow mixing and dilution instructions carefully.

Q: Which weed killer is safe for Bermuda grass?

A weed-killing product that contains 2,4-D, with or without other ingredients, will kill most broadleaf weeds without damaging Bermuda grass.

Q: What is the best herbicide for Bermuda grass?

Any of the products on our lineup will kill weeds without harming Bermuda grass, but our best overall pick, Southern Ag weed killer for Bermuda grass, is one of our favorite performers.

Q: What is the best fertilizer and weed killer for Bermuda grass?

Espoma weed killer for Bermuda grass will stop weeds seeds from sprouting and provide nitrogen for a healthy lawn at the same time.

Q: When should I put pre-emergent weed killer on Bermuda grass?

The most effective time is before weeds in your area go to seed and blow in the wind. You’ll cover most of the bases by applying a pre-emergent in spring and again in fall. Be careful, however, not to use it if you plan to overseed the lawn within a few months.