Best Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass | Lawn Care

A lush Bermuda Grass lawn is naturally weed resistant, but it takes planning and regular maintenance to get it healthy enough to choke out weeds. An effective weed control strategy prevents most weed growth while allowing your Bermuda Grass to thrive. 

Not all weed killers are alike. I’ve been caring for Bermuda Grass lawns for most of my adult life, and I’m here to bring you everything you need to know to keep your lawn healthy and weed-free.

Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass

If you’re in a rush and just want to know which weed killer to purchase to treat your Bermuda, then pick Scotts Turf Builder if you are looking to apply a spring or summer weed and feed. For a selective herbicide spray go for the professional quality Drive XLR8 concentrate and apply it to your lawn without any risk of damage.

My shortlist of weed killers for Bermuda grass covers all situations except for pre-emergents. If you need a pre-emergent to put down in early winter then read this article on the Best Pre-emergents for Bermuda grass

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

Best Weed and Feed

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

Boost growth and eradicate post-emergent weeds from your Bermuda grass in one go with this highly effective weed and feed.

Drive XLR8 Herbicide_small

Professional Post Emergent

Drive XLR8 Herbicide for Bermuda Lawns

Powerful post-emergent, suitable for eliminating broadleaf weeds such as crabgrass and clover within 24 hours of use. Ideal for spot treatments as well as large-scale coverage.

An herbicide that Kills Everything But Bermuda Grass

A weed control strategy aims to kill unwanted and uninvited weeds while preserving your lush Bermuda Grass lawn. But killing weeds doesn’t do much good if it leaves an ugly brown wound in your beautiful yard, so it’s crucial to use selective herbicides wherever possible.

Selective Herbicides

Herbicides can be broadly classified as selective or nonselective. These terms describe whether an herbicide is toxic to all plants and weeds (nonselective) or only to a select species or category of weeds (selective). 

Nonselective herbicides are also sometimes referred to as broad-spectrum herbicides. As the name suggests, nonselective herbicides, such as paraquat and glyphosate, are indiscriminate, killing everything they come in contact with. Applying nonselective herbicides to weeds in your Bermuda Grass will kill the weeds and the grass.

Selective herbicides are classified according to the classes of weeds they kill, such as broadleaf weeds versus grass weeds while leaving other plant species alive. To kill the weeds without killing your grass, you’ll want to use a selective herbicide such as 2,4-D and dicamba, which target broadleaf weeds. 

A selective herbicide is the best weed killer for Bermuda Grass if you want to preserve your lawn while eradicating only the targeted weeds.

Choosing the Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass

Your Bermuda Grass lawn’s effective weed control strategy requires both planned prevention and targeted spot control. Pre-emergent prevention will keep most broadleaf weeds from breaking through, and post-emergent spot treatment will cover any weeds that do pop up. 

If your lawn needs fertilizer, you can also buy a good weed and feed to do both jobs at once. 

Here’s everything you need to know about each type of herbicide. 

Post-Emergent Herbicides

“Post-emergent” refers to the growth stage of the weeds you’re trying to kill. Post-emergent herbicides kill weeds that have emerged from the ground and are visible. 

Some post-emergent herbicides, including natural plant oils like clove, lemongrass, and cinnamon, work best on young, freshly sprouted weeds. In contrast, others, such as dicamba (selective) and glyphosate (nonselective), can kill more mature, stubborn weeds.

They may kill on contact with the visible parts of the weed over several hours or by systemic absorption through the roots over several days.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Pre-emergent herbicides such as Benefit and Dithiopyr (both selective) kill germinating weed seeds before they have emerged from the soil. They can’t kill weeds that have already developed or seeds that haven’t germinated. 

They work by creating a toxic barrier that germinating seeds can’t penetrate, but they must be applied at the start of the growing season to be effective.

Weed and Feed for Bermuda Grass

Weed and feed products are a two-in-one solution to fertilization and weed control. They combine herbicide with fertilizer to do both in one step, saving you time and money if you do it properly. 

However, weed and feed products are not one-size-fits-all, so you must be selective when choosing one for your Bermuda Grass. Some weed and feed products use a pre-emergent herbicide while others are post-emergent, so you need to time their application carefully. 

The fertilizers used in weed and feed products also vary. Each has a different N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio. Too much of any one ingredient, or applying it at the wrong time, can damage your Bermuda Grass, so choosing the right combination of fertilizer and herbicide in your weed and feed is essential.

Organic vs. Synthetic Herbicides

Organic herbicides come from natural ingredients such as essential plant oils and acids like white vinegar. They’re less toxic to humans and animals than synthetic herbicides, making them popular for households and gardeners with children and pets. 

But all organic herbicides are nonselective, meaning they kill grass and weeds. They must be carefully applied to post-emergent weeds to avoid damaging nearby Bermuda Grass. They may also be ineffective on more mature weeds or require multiple applications to work completely.

On the other hand, synthetic herbicides are often the best weed killer for Bermuda Grass because they can be selective, targeting a particular type of weed while sparing grasses and ornamental plants. 

They are, however, more toxic to humans and pets and can damage the local ecosystem through groundwater contamination, even when applied carefully. 

Best Weed Killers for Bermuda Grass Lawns

I’ve personally used and researched dozens of weed killers made for use on Bermuda Grass. Here are my five favorites to help you keep your Bermuda Grass lawn lush, healthy, and weed-free.

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed
  • Type: Granules
  • Application: Post-emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 square feet per 14-pound bag 
  • Weeds: Dandelion, clover

Pros:

  • 28-0-3 fertilizer to feed Bermuda Grass while killing weeds
  • Kills dandelions and clover within 24 hours

Cons:

  • Can burn grass if used incorrectly

This weed and feed product from Scotts is one of the fastest ways to get a healthier, weed-free lawn. Apply in the early spring when weeds first start popping up to stop them in their tracks.

The 2-in-1 fertilizer also feeds your lawn for thicker grass, which naturally resists weeds later in the season. Scotts Turf Builder is the perfect mid-season timesaver for your Bermuda Grass lawn.

This product is almost foolproof if you follow the instructions. However, you really need to read the directions for use carefully to avoid potentially burning or scorching lawns, especially in dry conditions. 

How to use: Use the chart on the bag to determine the right setting for your granule spreader to ensure even coverage. Apply using a granule spreader, first making a loop around the yard’s edge, then working back and forth across the lawn in rows. Apply when the lawn is wet, such as after watering or a rain shower, to prevent burning. 

2. Drive XLR8 Herbicide for Bermuda Lawns 

Best Post-Emergent Herbicide

Drive XLR8 Herbicide.
  • Type: Liquid
  • Application: Post-emergent
  • Coverage: 50,000 – 125,000 square feet
  • Weeds: Crabgrass, torpedo grass, clover

Pros:

  • Kills even stubborn, harmful plants like poison ivy
  • Pet safe when applied according to directions

Cons:

  • Kills certain types of grasses

This professional-level herbicide is a foolproof way to eliminate post-emergent crabgrass in your Bermuda Grass lawn. It can be sprayed directly on established broadleaf weeds such as clover and crabgrass either as a spot treatment or for larger scale weed clearance.

Pre-watering your lawn or using a surfactant will help improve absorption in dry climates. One bottle is enough to cover even the biggest of lawns, so you’ll probably get several seasons of use with this highly effective formula.

If your lawn is made up of multiple types of grass, read the product description carefully. Drive XLR8 is safe for Bermuda Grass, ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass but will kill St. Augustine grass and Bahiagrass. 

How to use: Wait at least two days after mowing. For increased effectiveness, mix with a surfactant before application. Apply evenly using the sprayer to target places where crabgrass is visible. Wait at least two days after mowing.

Drive XLR8 Herbicide_small
  • Type: Liquid concentrate
  • Application: Post-emergent
  • Coverage: Up to ½ acre (1 gallon)
  • Weeds: Broadleaf

Pros:

  • Highly concentrated
  • Kills most broadleaf weeds

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work as well below 70 degrees

This 2,4-D selective herbicide from Hi-Yield kills many broadleaf weeds, including bindweed, burdock, dandelion, and goldenrod. 

It’s pet safe when used according to package directions – so safe that some ranchers use it to kill weeds in their grazing pastures. 

However, you can only dilute it with water, not mixed with surfactants or other herbicides, so you may find yourself doing multiple passes with different herbicides and fertilizers.

How to use: Follow package directions for dilution ratio. Begin by adding half the required water to the sprayer tank, followed by the recommended amount of concentrate, and finally, the remaining volume of water. 

Customer reviews: Some customers have reported that their grass suffered a bit under this herbicide, but it grew back quickly while the weeds stayed gone.

Roundup for Lawns Weed Killer Spray
  • Type: Ready-to-use liquid
  • Application: Post-emergent
  • Coverage: Spot treatment
  • Weeds: Dandelion, clover, nutsedge, crabgrass

Pros:

  • Easy to use with no mixing or preparation
  • Selectively targets stubborn weeds while sparing lawns

Cons:

  • Slow acting – may take up to three weeks for full effect

The Roundup for Lawns 1 Ready to Use Weed Killer Spray comes pre-mixed and ready to use with the included comfort wand. It kills common weeds like dandelion and clover, but it’s tough enough to tackle more stubborn species like nutsedge and crabgrass that other weed killers can’t touch. 

This systemic killer may take up to two weeks to kill weeds completely, but they won’t come back. I love how easy it is to use, with no mixing or special equipment required. Just grab the bottle when the weather is right and spray the weeds you can see – it’s foolproof, as long as you buy the right formula.

There are two versions of the Roundup for Lawns Ready to Use spray – one for Northern Lawns and one for Southern Lawns. Each is formulated to selectively spare the grasses common in each region but will kill your lawn if you use the wrong one. Read the description carefully before buying and double-check the product label before using it.

How to use: Apply on a day when the ambient temperature is between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Note that the maximum temperature for use on Bermuda Grass (85) is lower than most grasses (90). The soil may be moist, but the grass and weeds should be dry. Spray directly on visible weeds and let them dry. It’s safe for children and pets as soon as it’s dry.

Ortho Weed B Gone Hose End Spray
  • Type: Ready-to-spray liquid
  • Application: Post-emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 square feet
  • Weeds: Over 200 species

Pros:

  • Excellent coverage for large yawns with lots of weeds
  • Kills over 200 species of weeds

Cons:

  • Causes temporary discoloration when used on Bermuda Grass

This is one of the most versatile selective weed killers available, killing more than just dandelions and crabgrass. There’s a list of over 200 grass and broadleaf weeds that you can eliminate with Ortho Weed B Gon Ready-to-Spray with Crabgrass Control.

You’ll have to be patient with this one, though, because it takes time for full effectiveness. But it kills more weed species than any other selective herbicide on this list, and it’s safe for Bermuda Grass – though it will discolor the grass temporarily when you use it.

How to use: Connect your standard garden hose to the bottle, then turn on the water. Slide the switch two clicks to turn the nozzle on and activate the mixing mechanism. Pull the trigger to spray a mist of perfectly mixed herbicide. Spray just enough to moisten the leaves of the weeds you’re trying to kill – there’s no need to soak the soil. 

Customer reviews: The activation mechanism is a little tricky. The first click sprays clean water through the nozzle. The second click mixes and dispenses the herbicide. Make sure you’re releasing the product while spraying. Clean water doesn’t kill weeds.

Verdict: Best Weed Killer for Bermuda Grass

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for killing weeds in Bermuda Grass during the growing season. No single herbicide can effectively keep your lawn free of weeds. However, using the right products at the correct times can prevent excessive weed growth. 

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

Best Weed and Feed

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

Boost growth and eradicate post-emergent weeds from your Bermuda grass in one go with this highly effective weed and feed.

In general, the best weed killer for Bermuda Grass is actually a multi-product process. Start with a broad-spectrum pre-emergent herbicide in winter. 

Then move to a post-emergent weed and feed in spring such as Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed, and targeted spot treatment with organic or synthetic contact killers such as Drive XLR8 Herbicide throughout the growing season.

Drive XLR8 Herbicide for Bermuda Lawns

Professional Post Emergent

Drive XLR8 Herbicide for Bermuda Lawns

Powerful post-emergent, suitable for eliminating broadleaf weeds such as crabgrass and clover within 24 hours of use. Ideal for spot treatments as well as large-scale coverage.

How to Kill Weeds In Bermuda Grass

Keeping your Bermuda Grass pristine requires a multi-part weed control strategy. Using a proper pre-emergent herbicide in winter will prevent most broadleaf weeds from coming up. In contrast, post-emergent herbicides are excellent for spot-treating the weeds that break through the barrier.

Applying Post-Emergent to Bermuda

Post-emergent weed killers have two different modes of action – systemic and on contact. Systemic herbicides take time to kill visible weeds, but they’re more effective long-term. However, contact-based herbicides act quickly, killing weeds in minutes to hours.

Systemic

Systemic, post-emergent herbicides are absorbed through the roots and leaves to kill weeds over several days or even weeks. 2,4-D is a selective post-emergent herbicide that kills broadleaf weeds by moving through the entire plant, killing it from the inside out. 

Some systemic, post-emergent herbicides come pre-mixed, but others must be diluted or mixed before application. You can pour or spray them directly on the weed’s leaves and stems and saturate the soil directly under the weed to ensure complete absorption.

Contact

Nonselective, post-emergent herbicides should be applied to the visible parts of weeds. Organic plant oil herbicides can be applied by wiping the leaves of the weeds with a cloth or spraying directly on the plants with a spray bottle. Synthetic herbicides such as dicamba can also be applied. 

Post-emergent herbicides that kill on contact must be applied carefully to avoid killing nearby plants and grasses. Avoid spraying plants on windy days, as even a gentle breeze can cause herbicides to spread further than you’d think. 

Using Pre-Emergent Weed Killer in Winter

You have a limited time window to use pre-emergent weed killer for crabgrass or other broadleaf weeds because it won’t kill weeds that have already sprouted or seeds that never germinate. Pre-emergent weed killers can also damage germinating grass seeds, so you have to time application carefully for best results. 

Generally, the best time to apply a pre-emergent weed killer is in mid-to-late winter. Winter application allows the herbicide to get watered in and form a barrier to germinating weeds well before they sprout. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in winter also gives you several spring and summer months (at least 90 days later) to seed grass safely.

Pre-emergent weed killers come in liquid and granule forms. Liquids are generally harder for beginners to apply because it’s challenging to get even coverage with a sprayer. Granules are applied using a mechanical granular spreader machine that achieves even coverage as long as you push it consistently, which is much easier for beginners.

Both liquid and granular pre-emergent herbicides must be watered within 21 days. For best results, apply them the day before a moderate rain (a half-inch or more) is expected. 

Weed Control for Bermuda Grass FAQs

Here is some additional information you may want to know about keeping your Bermuda Grass weed-free.