University of Maryland Extension


(More Lawn Weeds)  (Lawn Control Options)  

Cynodon dactylon bermudagrass


Perennial, warm season grass; also called wiregrass.

Growth habit 

Grows up to 2 ft. tall; goes dormant in winter and turns brown.


Spreads aggressively by strong, wiry stolons (above ground runners).

bermuda or wire grass in lawn

Conditions that favor growth

Mowing the lawn too short.


Cultural control: (In ornamental beds) small infestations can be dug out; must remove all parts of root. Do not rototill live plants. (lawns) Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.
Mechanical control: Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.
General chemical control: (lawns) Perennial grasses are extremely difficult to control selectively in turfgrasses. A liquid, selective postemergent herbicide with the active ingredient Fenoxaprop can be used to suppress bermudagrass in lawns. Or, either use glyphosate (a non-selective herbicide) to spot treat or renovate the entire lawn. Renovation should be initiated in mid- to late August so there is time for reseeding in early September. Weeds must be actively growing in August when glyphosate is applied. To improve control, water well and allow foliage to grow a week or two before treating. Apply glyphosate at the rate recommended for your weeds and do not disturb the foliage or roots for a week after application. Water to encourage any re-growth and treat again if new growth appears. New grass can be seeded 7 days after treatment when you are sure the weedy grasses are dead.

For a glossary of herbicide terms and additional information see: control options  

Publication: (PDF) TT 46-Perennial Grass Weeds and Their Control in Cool-Season Turf

Return to weed gallery

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2019. Web Accessibility