Control Of Beggarticks: How To Get Rid Of Beggartick Weeds

large field of yellow flowers called Bidens in spring
Image by ChiccoDodiFC

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

What are beggarticks? Beggartick weeds are stubborn plants that create havoc across much of the United States. You may know this plant as bearded beggartick, tickseed sunflower or swamp marigold, and you may be wondering how to get rid of beggartick weeds. If this sounds like you, read on for helpful information.

About Common Beggartick Plants

What are beggarticks? Common beggartick plants are members of the aster family, and the bright yellow flowers resemble daisies. The slender, leafy stems can reach heights of 1 to 5 feet. The dull green leaves are sharply toothed along the edges.

If you have common beggartick plants in your lawn or garden, you already know how troublesome they can be. You know how the stickery, fishhook-like seeds grab hold of whatever they touch, and you’ve probably spent hours picking the pesky things out of your socks or your dog’s coat. This handy little adaptation ensures that the plant spreads quickly when the sticky seeds catch a ride on an unsuspecting host.

What you may not realize is that common beggartick plants, which are found around ponds and marshes, along roadsides and in damp ditches, pose serious threats to the environment when they crowd out native plants.

How to Get Rid of Beggarticks

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Control of beggarticks requires dedication and persistence. Frequent mowing is the best way to prevent the plant from going to seed and stop the rampant spread. The plant is easy to pull from moist soil, but be sure to dispose of the plants securely, especially if the plant is in flower. If beggartick is in your lawn, keeping the turf healthy will prevent the plant from taking over.

If the plant is out of control, you can use an herbicide, such as one containing picloram or glyphosate. Use the products strictly according to label recommendations, and keep in mind that herbicides kill every plant they touch. It’s also important to note that many states regulate application of herbicides in aquatic areas.

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