Getting Rid of Goat's Head Weeds, Seeds, and Stickers

Updated on September 22, 2018
lgOlson profile image

A retired professional plant grower, I tried many methods to get rid of the goat's head that took over my yard. I finally found what works.

Here's how to get rid of Tribulus terrestris, or goat's head, in your yard.
Here's how to get rid of Tribulus terrestris, or goat's head, in your yard. | Source

My Battle Against Goat's Head Weeds

I moved to beautiful Northern Arizona about 22 years ago and loved it immediately. After having lived for years in the southern desert, the area offered welcome relief from the extreme heat and the vigilance we had to keep up against harmful natural creatures.

When I moved into the new house with its large, fenced yard, I thought I would be able to create gardens full of happy plants. As a retired professional plant grower, I couldn't wait to create my own picturesque garden scape. Then I had my first encounter with a goat's head plant. The Latin name is Tribulus terrestris and go by name other names (see below for a list), but to me this plant is quite simply "The Enemy" and I am at war with it!

It went like this: I was out in the yard and I reached down to pull a weed from an area I was clearing. I felt what I was feared might have been a sting by an unknown bug, but instead of a stinger, I saw a roundish, odd hard thing stuck in my skin. I went to pull it out and was immediately impaled again on my other finger. I had not seen that there were several barbs on it.

After I got it out, I looked around and to my horror, saw that this plant was everywhere in my yard, and spreading rapidly! Goat's head weeds are like flypaper stuck to your hands and killing them seems impossible. My friends, you can control and kill goat's head weed and keep it from taking over your yard, but it takes patience, perseverance, and some good tools.

In this article I'll share:

  • What you'll need to get rid of goat's head weed forever
  • What I tried that didn't work
  • Season-by-season steps to kill goat's head weed stickers
  • My recipe for a homemade weed killer (that works)
  • How to safely use a propane vapor torch
  • Chemicals that kill goat's head weed and how to use them
  • What to do if you step on a thorn (and how to keep them out of your house)
  • Plants that choke out goat's head weed
  • Goats and goat's head weed
  • Weevils that eat goat's head weed
  • Other names for goat's head weed
  • How this weed spreads so quickly

How to Get Rid of Goat's Head Forever

Here's what you'll need:

  • Propane weed-burning torch (for large infestations; check your local laws regarding use of these devices).
  • Protective gloves
  • Epsom salts and white vinegar (diluted 1/2 cup each per gallon of water)
  • Chemical weed killer containing Oryzalin (follow safety precautions)
  • Good upright weeder/extractor
  • Tarps to lay down after you spray
  • Weed collection bin
  • Weed puller (hoe, claw hammer, or lawn jaws)
  • Rake
  • Optional: Mulch to lay over treated and weeded area.

Note: I Do Not Recommend Roundup

The main ingredient in Roundup is the herbicide Glyphosate. I do not recommend using this product as some research links Glyphosate to cancer.

What Doesn't Work to Get Rid of Goat's Head

Here's what I tried first: I sprayed the plants with my regular weed killer, but that didn't work. Then I spent the rest of the summer pulling them out of my front yard, one by one, by the roots. My back nearly broke, but I had cleared away a good area and was sure they would not return. Sadly, I was mistaken. We had a monsoon in August so severe that the yard behind ours flooded and overran the small berm separating our properties. The result was that my yard was immersed in water for several days which left millions of goat's head seeds on the land around my house.

After All That, the Goat's Head Came Back

The next spring the plants all emerged again. I knew I had to refine my tactics. Now, after several more seasons of battle, I am a goat's head warrior!

The green Tribulus terrestris "fruit" is surrounded by long spikes.
The green Tribulus terrestris "fruit" is surrounded by long spikes. | Source
Once dry, the spikes sharpen and can puncture bicycle tires (and feet).
Once dry, the spikes sharpen and can puncture bicycle tires (and feet). | Source

Season-by-Season Steps to Get Rid of Goat's Head Stickers

Late Winter/Spring (March-June)

  • Lay down a pre-emergent weed killer like Surflan, which contains oryzalin and trifluralin, as a preventative. I have also successfully used a home remedy weed killer: Dilute 1/2 cup each of Epsom salts and vinegar in a gallon of water and spray thoroughly.) Avoid spraying any "good" ground covers, as you want them to flourish and take space away from the Evil One.

Summer

  • If you have large infestations, sweep with your propane weed burner, staying close to the ground to burn out as much of the roots as you can. Follow your burn with a weed killer that will get to the roots still living underground. Note: If you use a weed burner, you won't need to rake.
  • At the first sign of their little green bodies, spray with weed killer. Tip: Spray and then cover with a sun-blocking tarp for about a week. I start this process close to my house and move outward. Peek under the tarp, and when the plants have turned yellow/brown, remove the tarp and move on to the next step. (Note: You can spray these at any time of the year, but beginning the following year, start on schedule to fully get them out of your yard.)
  • Remove the goat's head plants, including the roots, with your upright weeder. If you are limber enough and don't have many plants to remove, you can pull them out by hand, but make sure you wear protective gloves. Grasp the entire plant as close to the ground as possible and slowly pull sideways to get the entire root system out. Pulling straight up usually snaps the plant off, leaving the roots still underground.
  • Rake the area, removing all goat's head debris, and put it into the trash. Finally, sweep the area you cleared to pick up any thorns. Remember to always put goat's head weeds and thorns in your trash or burn them. They reseed like crazy, if you don't.
  • If you have not used chemicals, plant wildflowers and cultivate any other ground covers you can to choke the goat's head plants out.
  • Sit back and have a cool one!

Fall/Early Winter

  • If you live in an area with cold winters, the first freeze will kill goat's head weed. But as stated earlier, the plant reseeds aggressively, so be sure to clear your property of any thorns, stems, leaves, and roots. Dispose of these in the trash or by burning.

How to Kill Goat's Head Weed Naturally

Dilute 1/2 cup of Epsom salts and 1/2 cup vinegar in a gallon of water. Spray thoroughly.

It looks pretty here, but this plant will drive you insane if it gets established on your property.
It looks pretty here, but this plant will drive you insane if it gets established on your property. | Source

How to Safely Use a Propane Vapor Torch

Moist fall and winter weather is the perfect time to attack large patches of goat's head weeds by burning. I have had so many readers rave about using the Red Dragon VT 2-23 C Propane Vapor Torch in their yards. It makes chemicals unnecessary and is easier than the physical work involved with pulling and raking methods.

  • Pros: The burner destroys both plant and its seeds immediately.
  • Cons: It won't always kill the roots so they might come back again.

So, for those of you with large areas to clear who and don't mind burning areas down to the soil, this is a very good option. I would recommend following with a weed root killer that I have listed in this article.

Safety tips:

  1. First, you must check with your local fire department or city for regulations on its use. Some will require a burn permit, and some do not allow them at all.
  2. Always have a watering hose ready.
  3. Pre-water the boundary areas to prevent the burning from getting away from you.
  4. Never burn in windy conditions!

Follow these precautions and you should be fine.

Chemicals That Kill Goat's Head Weed and How to Use Them

Chemicals are harsh but necessary. In your battle with goat's head weed, you must have chemicals in your arsenal. I know chemicals are not always friendly to the environment, but used properly and chosen carefully, they are very helpful weapons in fighting this scourge. They won't do it all, but combined with the other methods, chemicals will reduce the weeds.

These are the chemicals I have found to be effective when used as directed and in conjunction with the other tactics.

  • Oryzalin and Trifluralin (Surflan) Pre-emergents to be applied in late winter/early spring.
  • Glyphosate (Roundup)and Dicamba Post-emergents to be applied to growing plants. * Note: I no longer use Roundup for health reasons.

Safety tips: Make sure your pets do not walk on these chemicals when still wet. I cover the areas I have sprayed with a cheap tarp until they are dry. This helps the product be more effective. It deprives the plants of sun, allows the chemical to penetrate fully, and protects my cats from coming into contact with the chemical.

Will it kill every plant you spray? No, nothing does, but it will kill a lot of them. After they are dead, rake the plants and sweep up any thorn heads.

  • Caution! Read all labels as some of these can kill other plants you do not want to be harmed!

Dried goat's head thorns embedded in a foot. Pull them straight out with a finger on each side.
Dried goat's head thorns embedded in a foot. Pull them straight out with a finger on each side. | Source

Stepped on a Goat's Head Thorn?

  1. Scream. It does help.
  2. Do not just grab under your foot to yank it out.
  3. Carefully put a finger to each side of it and pull it straight out.
  4. Limp to your medicine cabinet/first aid kit and douse the wound in antiseptic, such as hydrogen peroxide or medicinal alcohol.
  5. Apply a layer of antibiotic cream and cover with a sterile bandage.
  6. Check it periodically and watch for any sign of infection.

Keep Thorns Out of Your House

For those of you who walk on areas of your property that have or have had these weeds, be sure to thoroughly wipe your shoes off on a rough surface or mat before entering your home. If you don't, you will carry the burrs inside and they will come off on your carpet and you run the risk of stepping on them in bare feet.

The thorns can easily penetrate soft-soled shoes and slippers (not to mention tires, in some cases) so it's important to take care to scour your carpeting and floors for them. Animals can bring them in as well. Sometimes I think they make their way in my house on their own!

If you have small children, make sure they always wear shoes in the house, to protect their little feet.

Desert Mallow is a great wildflower that will grow and propagate in your yard, especially if you live in the Southwest.
Desert Mallow is a great wildflower that will grow and propagate in your yard, especially if you live in the Southwest.

Plants That Choke Out Goat's Head Weed

For those of you who live in the southwestern U.S., Desert Mallow is a great natural wildflower to promote in your yard. These perennial desert plants flower all summer long. The best part is that if allowed to grow and propagate, these beauties will help choke out goat's head weed. They require nothing: no watering and no fertilizer. Just let them flourish and you will have wonderful orange flowers that last and last. They are easily propagated by cuttings and they reseed each year, naturally multiplying.

I took this picture in mid-May.

Do Goats Eat Goat's Head Weed?

Some goat farmers say that their goats will eat burrs and other thorny plants. In some cases the animals eat everything but the thorns. If you try using goats to eradicate goat's head weed, make sure to rake up and dispose of all plant debris the goats leave behind. These plants can reseed from thorns on the ground.

Weevils That Eat Goat's Head (Puncture Vine)

There are also commercially available weevils that kill goat's head. The weevils are called Microlarinus lareynii and Microlarinus lypriformis.

Together they are known as puncture vine weevils. Microlarinus lareynii works by eating away the side of a green goat's head burr. Then it lays its eggs inside the cavity and seals it up. As adults, these weevils do eat goat's heads, but the real damage is when the female uses the burr as an incubator for her eggs.

Microlarinus lypriformis lays its eggs in goat's head stems. Once hatched, the larvae feed on the plant.

Both weevils have been used in the U.S. to control goat's head weeds since the early 1960s. Interestingly, both the weevil and the goat's head plant are native to Europe, so one can only assume that goat's head isn't as big a problem in its original habitat!

At this time, I cannot say how effective weevils are, but I suggest you look into it. I do not believe it would work in my area as I am in a high wind location. The weevils would be blown away from my yard, helping out my neighbors downwind perhaps, but leaving me open to a rear attack again. I cannot say more than to suggest that you research them. This website contains lots of useful information. Check with the agriculture department in your county to see if they are legal to use!

Other Names for Goat's Head Weed

These invasive weeds go by many names:

  • Tribulus terrestris
  • puncture vine
  • caltrop or small caltrops
  • bullhead
  • cat's-head
  • devil's eyelashes
  • devil's-thorn
  • devil's-weed

How Goat's Head Spreads So Quickly

Rapidly, it begins to spread, sending out tentacles. Then it produces little yellow or purple flowers. The roots grow deep very quickly and spread underground. From those roots more evil plants grow, reproducing at an alarming rate.

After they produce their little flowers, the thorns begin to grow, nestled under the leaves and vines, all but invisible until the unwary come near. Moisture will cause it to either hug the ground (less moisture) or grow more upright, with more spreading vines (more moisture).

Questions & Answers

  • I pulled every single one of these Goat Head Weeds out of my yard as soon as it showed one flower. None of them went to seed. This year I have just about as many, and am following the same program. I thought they were annuals, but I suppose the seeds stay fertile for several years. How many years does it take?

    If you follow up the pulling of the weeds with something that will really penetrate the soil, and get up the loose old seeds you should have less and less each year. However, if the land around you have lots of them, they will make their way into your area again via wind, animals, etc.

  • I have a round pen for training my horses with WASHED SAND. How do I get the actual stickers out, do I burn it?

    I would do that, but you would have to rake to expose those underneath the top layer of sand, and depending on how big the pen is you could sift as many out as you can.

© 2013 L Olson

Are you a Goat Head warrior?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Liz 

      4 hours ago

      As a registered nurse I highly encourage you to remove the advice of using alcohol or peroxide for wound cleaning as these steps have been found to be a catalyst for infections.

    • profile image

      Weedkilla 

      13 days ago

      I use a pliers to pull them out. You get a better grip & do not have to worry about the thorns. 99% of the time, you will pull up the root.

    • profile image

      Milt Ellis 

      6 weeks ago

      Do your homework on Roundup. Who is telling us it causes cancer The Lawyers . Go figure .

    • profile image

      KBC 

      2 months ago

      I know someone that uses old gas in a pump sprayer & gets them while they're small, they go away fast

    • profile image

      Kevin Wade 

      3 months ago

      Sand burrs are different. Sometimes called Grass burrs. They are a grass called Cenchrus. Much harder to kill in lawns because they are grass. Most chemicals that kill them will also kill bermuda grass.

    • profile image

      Ingrid Harrison 

      5 months ago

      We had terrible goatheads on our property when we purchased it in '05. I investigated and found http://www.goatheads.com. The little weevils worked perfectly. Female weevils chew into the side of a young (green) puncturevine bur, deposit eggs into the seed and seal it with fecal material. Females may deposit between 250 - 450 eggs. Weevils grubs develop inside the seed and pupate therein. Each seed may produce 1-3 weevils. The life cycle from egg to adult requires about 25 days. Adult weevils may feed on the plant but do not cause appreciable damage to the plant. The number of generations per year depends on the climate. Adults overwinter in plant duff.

    • profile image

      John Daniels 

      6 months ago

      Please, for the love of god, stop telling people to use glyphosate. It causes brain cancer.

    • profile image

      Duane R 

      6 months ago

      Goat's will eat them, not sure about the roots.

    • profile image

      Dan 

      10 months ago

      I moved onto a rural property in Nevada three years ago and have been fighting goat heads ever since! They are so persistent and painful to step on. When I see my dog come limping to me with one paw in the air I know right away that he stepped on one. I have an acre of land and to control them is a huge job that I am not winning. I attack them as soon as I see their flowers, burn them with a torch, etc. but they were here so long before me that the seeds are everywhere and seem impossible to ever get rid of. To use any kind of chemicals would require a major amount of money! Any suggestions?

    • profile image

      pbowd123@gmail.com 

      11 months ago

      My contractors mowed my lawn too low and far to many times. The hot dry weather scorched my local lawn grass and the contractor walked the cathead/goathead weeds all through my property from his boots. The seeds were pushed into my bare earth by poor hygiene management by the contractor.

    • profile image

      Fiona 

      12 months ago

      Glyphosate is more evil than goatheads.

    • profile image

      Lelah Kaufman 

      12 months ago

      They are everywhere, invading my 2 acres and my home! The dog cannot run free because she is attacked by these vicious weeds! Eeeek!

    • profile image

      Tom walton 

      12 months ago

      Ive been waring with these evil little monsters for a decade now. If they are really bad you need to start with burner. If you are fighting the long fight i highly recomend a claw hammer and a bucket. Use claw to carefully grab plant at center root and lift. You can grab whole plant and all the evil spawn at same time and deposite in bucket. Takes a few years if you started with bad patch but with persistance you will win. Also a healthy mix of roundup and a little dish soap will kill them if you hit them early. Happy hunting!

    • profile image

      Truman Makabe 

      12 months ago

      I have a few large Goathead plants that have no thorns. The reason? We have Desert Iguana lizards that eat the flowers, preventing thorns from forming. I purposely let a few plants grow to observe the lizards, and to see how effective they are. I can find no thorns at all, and the largest plant is over four feet across. The plant is very bushy because the lizards also eat some of the branch tips, effectively "pinching back" the plant to encourage new growth. The lizards will start hibernating soon, though, so the plants will be able to grow thorns. I will pull them up then. I pulled about 50-60 other goathead plants from my yard and saw no thorns at all.

    • profile image

      Lisa 

      13 months ago

      Basically saying they can't be controlled

    • profile image

      Dena 

      14 months ago

      I've found a weed killer that works like a charm on this evil pernicious plant. It's called Burn Out and its safe around my animals after application. It also seems to last a while.

    • profile image

      Jean Cournoyer 

      17 months ago

      I have a bad case of Gateshead at my beach place here in WA I have not tried chemicals yet but did try burning a spot. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      G. Cloudwalker 

      17 months ago

      The best way I got rid of the NASTY BUGGERS is put on your trusty work boots, Take a stroll around the yard and using the toe of the boot give them a good nudge and out they come root & all some you have to bend and get the root, I did this for several weeks and haven't had any for 15 yrs.

      It's good exercise and you discover other things happening in the yard too.

    • profile image

      Ann 

      19 months ago

      Before the stickers form, the young goat head leaves are quite edible. So eat free and get rid of these pesky plants at the same time!

    • profile image

      Carol Herman 

      19 months ago

      Thank you for the suggestions. By far the best article I have seen to aid in our war against this horrid plant.

    • profile image

      Bud Glass 

      20 months ago

      Great and well-written article. Have you ever had any experience with weaviles? I've heard that they kill off the new buds when they come out. They are Goat Heads here in Colorado and they suck.

    • profile image

      Lindarae. Tyler 

      21 months ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      oneil vigue 

      23 months ago

      sand spurs or goathead weeds will also get a bicycle tire flat,if you ride your bicycle in the grass with sand spurs,you will get a flat tire,we live in north florida and i tell my kids and show them how the sand spurs will stick to the rubber tire and go through into the inner tube.

    • profile image

      middle of az 

      2 years ago

      The seeds can survive several years in the ground before they sprout. Don't let them grow big enough to produce seeds. I wander around my yard with a hoe and when I see that little yellow flower I attack. I have a lot less then before. The problem is the neighbors don't do anything about them. Each big rain just wash more seeds into my yard.

    • profile image

      merrill Johson 

      2 years ago

      A lot of words. Eliminate annual one needs to dig it, burn it, poison it and don't let it go to seed. Seeds lay in the ground viable for many years, and new seed are brought in on the feet and shoes of any thing that walks through, therefore it will take a long time. So often some plants survive to reseed the following year.

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      2 years ago

      I'm not sure about the chickens and goats--the dog next door doesn't seem to care that she's walking on the things and has them all stuck in her fur. She even sits on them, without a concern. I'm fighting to keep them out of my yard, pulling everything that comes through the fence.

    • profile image

      anymous 

      2 years ago

      not quite

    • profile image

      Mona 

      2 years ago

      Stepping on a Goathead is just like stepping on a thumb tack!

    • profile image

      sandy miller 

      2 years ago

      Ready to buy beautiful house on 5 acres..full of goathead and we want animals...afraid we would t be able to control them and what it will do to chickens and goats. Not sure if good to buy this beautiful home. I also have a dog

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 

      3 years ago from Las Vegas

      I just pulled one out of my foot. God I hate them!!!

    • profile image

      Rubeida Shaik 

      3 years ago

      Hi there. Wow! And here I thought we only get it in South Africa, Cape Town. Interesting read. My front yard has been left bare due to home improvements some time now. However we just scoop up the weeds every time we see them surfacing. The yard is all clean until i walk with my flip flops and before i enter my home I look under my soles and it's fully loaded with these devil thorns. There's no other way but to remove it individually off my flip flops cussing as I do

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 

      3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Thanks for this post. It made me laugh. Happily, I will not have to follow any of the advice now, since we live in a non-goat-head area ... but I remember those days. Ouch. Stepping on one really is like stepping on a tack.

    • profile image

      jhowerton 

      3 years ago

      we have those little devil's in northern California . my garden is over run with them 30 ft x 30 ft , it's a lot for one person to deal with. We have ben fighting them for 3 years with very little results. and yes they can have little purple flowers cuse ours do.

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Excellent suggestions!

    • profile image

      LK 

      4 years ago

      I've found a new tool for grasping them way down low to the ground to pull them out - Lawn Jaws, sold on Amazon.

      I'm in Phoenix and have desert landscaping, so large gravel areas. To find the goathead burrs to eliminate them in the gravel , I walk around the yard in soft flip flops. They will embed themselves in the soles, and I pull them out and repeat.

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @irwinmomm: I will have to check that out! Thanks for the tip!

    • profile image

      irwinmomm 

      4 years ago

      I hae been doing battle with these things ever since I bought tis place from my parens estate. I did discover while working in New Mexico that Fertiloam puts out a dry pre-emergent call Avert. I had never seen it in Colorado. It cannot be found at the big box stores-- Find a small farmer type feed store that carries Fertiloam products. Its doesn't rid you of the goathead stickers but it keeps them from germinating. Wish I had bought several bags and you can be when I get back thru N M I will stock up--I does work.

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @becky-roberts-520: Goat heads can have either color, yellow or purple.

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @becky-roberts-520: Yes, goat heads can have purple flowers...I have both in my yard.

    • profile image

      becky-roberts-520 

      4 years ago

      Hello Everyone, Here's my dilemma/ I have a patch of what I thought were goat heads growing in our yard/mixed in with the grass. A 4ft. x10ft. patch. The leaves look identical to goat heads but what we have has purple flowers, not yellow flowers. Do goat heads have more than one color of flower? I am in process of getting rid of them now before they get out of hand. Any help, suggestions would much be appreciated. Thanks so much

    • profile image

      becky-roberts-520 

      4 years ago

      Hello everyone, Maybe someone could help me. I have what I thought were goat heads growing in our yard. First time. Their massively taking over, about a 4ft. x 10ft patch. Here's the issue I'm having now though. As of today I don't actually know if what we have are goat heads. The leaves look identical to the goat heads but they have purple flowers not yellow flowers. From all the photos that I have seen of goat heads they have yellow flowers, not purple flowers. If someone can help me identity what I have I would very much appreciate it. Thank you

    • profile image

      tonyleather 

      4 years ago

      Some excellent suggestions here!

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 

      5 years ago

      I have never heard of the goat head weed. And I think I would like it to stay that way. Best wishes in your battle - may you come out victorious!

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      5 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @Gloriousconfusion: You are most fortunate not to have lived in an area with them!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love gardening, and have written about it on lots of lenses, but I've never heard of goat headweed before

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      5 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @lesliesinclair: Well, you can be environmentally friendly by using the propane burner combined with a lot of hard work in pulling them up by the roots, one by one. However, for those like me with thousands of them in my yard, that isn't very realistic if you want to avoid the damage they do.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 

      5 years ago

      Yikes! Never had the displeasure of encountering this weed. I'd say it's pretty noxious. From the title I guessed that it was a play on words, and that the solution was going to be an environmentally friendly one --- using goats to chomp them away.

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      5 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @tvyps: The goat head weed is very sneaky. You may not think you have them in your yard, but beware, if they are close by, they will find a way to your property. Even if a thorn falls off your pet, it can grow where it falls.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 

      5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Funny, you commented on my lens that had a goat tree in it and now, I am commenting on your goat head lens, ha! My pets bring these things in the house, not sure where they are coming from, I don't have them in the yard. They always end up in my bare feet. These are the most painful things; the pain relates to a needle stick and the bottom of the foot is one of the most sensitive areas of the body.

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 

      5 years ago

      Man - I'm glad we don't have those! I thought some of our weeds were bad...ouch!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 

      5 years ago from Diamondhead

      I haven't heard of this weed before, it is a very self-protected species with those spears on it. Where I live we have many hard to maintain weeds with thorns and the grow prolifically and cannot be controlled since the climate here is always warm and moist.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Me thinks this blood letting pest has found safe haven here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is sad to see what this pest can do. A great big COUNTRYLUTHIER thumbs up for these eradication tips. and....may the goat head pest never darken your days again, ever, ever ever!

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 

      5 years ago from Burbank, CA

      I remember these from growing up in Idaho. Used to get them when I was out exploring. What I have now is an equally hideous invader the MORNING GLORY! I think I have finally eliminated it from my yard. The neighbor behind is the same we are united in our hate of it. But now the guy next to us just doesn't care! Fun to hear that we all have our nemesis (es?) (nemesi?)

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 

      5 years ago

      This lens is hilarious, you're a great writer! Thankfully I'm only at war with an aggressive group of dandelions:)

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      5 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @Craftypicks: You got that right!

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas

      I don't have them on my property growing but we certainly have them in the area and I have stepped on them once too many times!!! OUCH. I understand why they grow thorns to protect themselves but it's just out and out mean shedding them the way they do.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 

      5 years ago

      Fortunately here we do not have goat heds. It seems really hard to get rid of them. Very good lens.

    • lgOlson profile imageAUTHOR

      L Olson 

      5 years ago from Northern Arizona

      @lionmom100: Oh, I hate those runner grasses too! However, I have to keep them to choke out the goat head weed! The battle never ends!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 

      5 years ago

      At first I thought I had not heard of this weed, being here in the Pacific Northwest, but then it dawned on me that I think I came across it when I lived in So Cal. Nasty little things. I had to laugh at the descriptions of your battles with this devil. But you are fighting a good battle, bring on the big guns (chemicals) when you have to. Now if I could only get rid of this nasty runner borne grass that is snaking its way through my flower beds.

    • wleon63 profile image

      wleon63 

      5 years ago

      I have never heard of 'Goat Head Weeds, although we do have stinging nettles in the UK [would they be classed as such?}. Anyway, great lens and very in-depth too. From the sounds of it, it seems that this weed is an absolute nightmare to try to destroy. And to me, it also seems that it serves no purpose at all in your garden, other than taking up space.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 

      5 years ago

      I have never seen goat head!

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      Oh oh oh! I am NEVER going to emigrate if this is what may face me! I think I would be inclined to take a flame thrower to the entire surrounding areas! You do write well though. Your lenses are a joy to read. Funny, informative and written with great style. May your Goat Head be defeated and your soles stay unpunctured!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I wouldn't want to see the goat heads.

      It is amazing that you could find this dreadful weed and emerge victorious. Keep it up.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      5 years ago

      An excellent resource! Goat heads are definitely not things I want anywhere near me... they are rather awful.

    • GardenerDon profile image

      Gardener Don 

      5 years ago

      How refreshing to see someone suggesting the use or chemical weed sprays. Too often these days it's the opposite.

      You are spot on with the line: "But, used properly, and chosen carefully, it's a very helpful weapon in fighting this scourge"

    • profile image

      vanderwick 

      5 years ago

      im searching for goat and landing to your lens, :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Never heard them called "goat heads", here in Florida they're known as "sand spurs", and they are what prevent us from "frolicking barefoot through the grass". I love your wit - "the nasty little buggers propagate like randy rabbits," - how descriptive.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)