Eliminating stickers or sand burs from a lawn requires a multi-step approach of removing seed and parent plants while encouraging growth of Bermuda or Saint Augustine grass to choke out the growth of sticker plants. Sticker plants multiply rapidly, so quick action makes it easier to control the problem.
For a small infestation, diligent pulling of the weeds from the lawn may provide control. If the problem has spread and the sharp seeds have already formed, wrapping an old towel around a lawn roller and rolling the yard helps to pick them up before they germinate.
Both Bermuda grass and Saint Augustine grass have the potential to shade the sandbur plants and prevent them from growing or producing seeds. Fertilize the lawn regularly, and keep it irrigated during the dry season. A green lawn provides a good defense against these thorny seeds.
As a last resort in lawns that have heavy sticker infestations, a pre-emergent herbicide provides control. Several different brand names provide effective treatment. For best results, apply the herbicide during the dormant period, as soon as air temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. A second application about 10 days later is required. These herbicides are not for use under the drip lines of trees, on lawns that are over-seeded to remain green during the colder seasons, or in gardens.