Asked on Sep 21, 2013

How do I get rid of pesky sand spurs from my lawn?

Christy D.
by Christy D.
I live in FL and my yard is over run with sand spurs that are constantly being tracked into the house on our shoes and our dog's fur. I'm looking for a way to get rid of them easily and most importantly inexpensively.
  17 answers
  • Laura S Laura S on Sep 22, 2013
    To pick up the stickers, take an old piece of carpet and flip it over on the grass. Attach a rope to drag it with, and drag the yard. It will take several times, and you'll also need to spray weed killer.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 22, 2013
    It's challenging to deal with sand spurs after they develop. You should use a pre-emergent in early spring (there is corn gluten meal if you are going an organic route), and keep your grass as healthy as possible, as this will help crowd out sand spurs. Do not use a fertilizer too high in nitrogen, as it can encourage sand spur growth.
    • See 2 previous
    • Christy D. Christy D. on Sep 23, 2013
      @Douglas Hunt Thanks for the tip. I only recently became interested because our previous home didn't have this issue. I'll be sure to do my research before plowing ahead. :0)
  • Christy D. Christy D. on Sep 22, 2013
    @Laura S Hmm. Maybe I can talk my son into doing it. lol
  • Teresa Watkins Teresa Watkins on Sep 23, 2013
    Christy, Lakes Wales' Sandy Ridge acidic soils are the culprit and you'll constantly have to deal each year with the sandspurs unless you get the soil and turf into shape. You didn't say how much property you have so I'm going to assume you have a normal size lot and not acreage. Get a soil analysis from the Extension office. You probably have a pH of 4.5 - 5.5. You will want to amend your turf soils with dolomitic limestone to lower the acidity and raise the soil pH. Layer organic amendments on your turf like top soil and compost in 1" increments to aid in soil nutrition. Use a pre-emergent herbicide in March and a herbicide at the end of September. Always use a bagger on your lawn mower to pick up all the sand spur seeds. Do not add your leaf clippings to a compost pile or leave on lawn. I'm assuming you have bahiagrass, so make sure that you're irrigating (1x a week in winter, 2x a week in spring and summer if no rain.) fertilize 2x a year (April and end of Sept) with 15 -0 -15. Keep your lawn healthy and you'll get rid of the sandspurs. If possible, reduce your areas of turf and add more landscape beds. If you want to treat acreage, contact Mary Beth Henry, (863-519-8677) at the UF/IFAS Polk County Extension for your solutions.
  • Christine Vieau Christine Vieau on Sep 23, 2013
    I got rid of mine with a shovel and a pair of flip flops. I think they put there sandspurs out in July, you dig them up and take them to the dump. Then you get a cheap pair of then flip flops and walk around so they stick in the shoe and then you put them in the trash. if you let the spurs drop they will just keep coming back and spread more. now I have more sand spurs.
    • See 1 previous
    • Vicky Hlady Vicky Hlady on Sep 28, 2019

      I worn rain boots with an old pair of large socks over them to walk the yard and pick them up.

  • Christy D. Christy D. on Sep 23, 2013
    Thanks for the tip. :0)
  • Geniva Barringer Geniva Barringer on Sep 23, 2013
    Growing up in the area I feel for you. Being a farmer my Dad would have us dig/pull them up with gloves and put in the fire pit then we would use burlap feed bags with sand in the bottom to pull over ther area to collet the spurs for any left behind will reproduce. Lime will also sweeten dirt and they prefer a sandy dry soil (citrus area)
    • Christy D. Christy D. on Sep 28, 2013
      @Geniva Barringer Thanks. I know exactly what you mean. My yard borders a grove and we have very little grass. Interestingly enough I did find a patch of thrift growing in among the weeds today so at least there's that. I didn't even know thrift would grow down here.
  • Kay Carroll Kay Carroll on Sep 23, 2013
    spray the areas with Round up.. We had 2 acres of sand spars and ended up spraying for 4 years to kill them all!!!
    • See 4 previous
    • Philip Pruchinsky Philip Pruchinsky on May 14, 2019

      Yes.. Use Roundup, a known carcinogen and manufactured by an evil company, Monsanto. We ALL have teflon in our bodies...ALL OF US, thanks to chemical companies! DO NOT FEED THE BEAST!

  • Coco Tree Service Corp Coco Tree Service Corp on Sep 23, 2013
    Hello Christy, You can try some of the tips described here: Hope this helps you with your spurs problem.
    • Christy D. Christy D. on Sep 28, 2013
      @Coco Tree Service Corp Thank you so much. I'll take a look see. :o)
  • Lois Franklin Lois Franklin on Aug 01, 2015
    I grew up in the Gainesville area and we were constantly battling those devils as well! I remember my dad having us drag burlap bags where we'd clean them out, but don't remember if he added any sand for weight. Good idea. He also said sandspurs don't grow in fertile ground so I'd add as much compost and manure as you could get your hands on. Maybe a nearby farmer with cows and/or chickens would let you haul as much as you want for free.
  • Dan Dan on Jul 14, 2017 brand new not sure if it is out yet.

  • Dan Dan on Sep 24, 2017

    I tried the sandspur removal kit and it works great tool

  • Dan Dan on Sep 24, 2017

    The sandspur removal kit is great it is the perfect gift for people in florida. It is ready to us right out of the box comes with instructions and even rubber gloves. It has made it easy to get rid of a lifetime pesky annoying weed that hurts. Great product.

  • Tom Ryan Tom Ryan on Sep 27, 2018

    I bout a 4' section of 12" diameter heavy cardboard concrete column form material from Lowe's. I then built a wood spool that fit just inside the round form at each end. This + shaped spool had a 2" hold in the middle. I bought 2" PVC pipe and made an axle that went through the holes and stuck out 2" on each end. I used PVC to create a handle that I could pull the round form with. I used some old carpet and placed it around the 4' spool and tacked it on the wood form that was just under the cardboard. This makes a great tool to drag around the yard in 4' wide paths to pick up the sandspurs. When the carpet is full I remove it by removing 4 screws that held it on. Then I replace it with another piece. I do this before I mow in late fall when all the spurs are out on the stems.

    Tom Ryan

  • Dawny Dawny on Nov 03, 2018

    Omg I had to Google " how to get rid of sand spurs " because I too live in Florida and for months couldn't figure out why my cats and dogs were dragging in so many sand spurs this summer . ...well I went out in the back yard today while video chatting with my son and bam I literally had to stop walking , pull off my socks and yell for my bf to bring me a pair of his shoes for easy slippin on , so he brings me the shoes and guess what? Yup , he walks out with the shoes in HIS socks and hes got sand spur covered socks now Haha need to get rid of these! I'm gunna try the carpet trick lol

  • Tom Stuart Tom Stuart on Nov 03, 2018

    Christy, I grew up in central Florida and always went bare foot. Sand spurs are a kid’s nightmare. At the end of the summer when the spurs (seed pods) mature my job was to put a small scrap of wood by each plant. My mother would weed the yard every few days. We rarely had sandspurs after that. My reward was a penny for each plant I found (big money back then).

    Try a Google search for “Sandspur extension” and get the advice from county extension agents.

  • Charles Charles on Jan 22, 2022

    I have noticed that sandspurs do not exist around or near Oak Trees . My neighbor had his yard so concentrated in sandspurs his dog would run 10 ft off the road and stop dead in his tracks. He had to go pick him up and take him to the porch and dig sandspurs out of his paws. The previous owner of my home next to him planted a line of acid producing trees and bushes . My yard didn't have any sandspurs at all . My yard was right next to his in a small neighborhood.