Adios, Goatheads

July 24, 2014

The goatheads are springing up all over the yard.  We’ve had several nice rains and the weeds have responded.  I don’t have time to weed an acre — especially goatheads — because you can’t chop and rake them.  If you use that method, you scatter the nasty little thorns which are painful for dogs and which start an entire new generation of the nasty parent plants.  By hand, you slide a shovel under the flat growing plant and lift the entire thing gently into a wheelbarrow or bucket to be deposited into a plastic bag for disposal.  One can also use a propane torch to burn them up.  Option 3 is puncturevine weevils.  So, that’s what I’m doing.  I ordered 250 weevils to destroy the vines.  I’m told they are very effective in the Albuquerque area.  I’ll give them every chance to shine.  My first batch will be here on July 31 to begin eating their way across the back 40.  I’m told they move on when all the goatheads in one place have been destroyed.  Since the acre next door is full of the weed, the little weevils won’t have far to go.  Then they can return home when more goatheads spring up.  The weevils are available from a small company between July 1st and September 30th — prime goathead time.  The plant is the gift that keeps on giving as it leave the thornes on the ground year round.

Be gone, you nasty plant!


  1. Cheryl Kienast says:

    I cannot wait to hear how it works!

  2. jean from NM says:

    AND — the seeds can lie dormant for 20 years!

  3. Taryn says:

    How nice to use something that isn’t a toxic chemical! I hope it does the trick for you. Those goatheads look similar to the things I call sand spurs at the beach. The second one attaches to my dog’s foot, all forward motion stops, they raise the afflicted paw and give a pathetic “save me” face.

  4. C-Myste says:

    I’m interested to hear how they work for you. I was reading on the UC Davis page which says that they help, but have to be renewed every couple of years as they don’t survive. And they recommend that you also still remove the stickers/seeds.

    One interesting recommendation: to remove the thorns from the ground, spread a blanket on the ground and press it down. The thorns will stick.

    Of course with an acre of them that’s going to take some time.

  5. have to get Heritage Park to invest in these weevils