Itch weed, or stinging nettle, is a plant with fine hairs that implant in your skin and sting you with formic acid. You can kill itch weed by pulling them out of the ground and leaving them in the sun to die. In areas with other plants growing nearby, it is a better idea to remove them by hand than to apply a weed killer, as the chemicals that kill itch weed will also kill grass and flowering plants, and it will take up to a week for the weed to die off.
Things You'll Need
- Heavy leather work gloves
- Sharp spade
- Garden fork tool
Put on a long-sleeved jacket, heavy jeans or work pants, and heavy leather work gloves to protect your skin from the itch weed's fine hairs.
Cut off the upper growth of the itch weed with a sharp spade and toss it in a wheel barrow.
Insert a garden fork tool into the ground, right up next to the remaining part of the itch weed stem. Pry up the roots with the fork slowly so that you pull the mat of roots of the plant completely out of the ground. Place the itch weed in the wheel barrow. Leave the weeds out in the sun, and wait for the plants to die off and turn brown. Dispose of the plants according to your local lawn clipping code. Wear protection when you dispose of them, as they can still sting you after they are dead or dried out.
Return to the area the itch weed was growing two weeks after you remove it. Shoots of the plant may start growing back if you missed any of the roots. Remove the roots and keep an eye on the site for about a month to ensure that you eliminate the plant entirely.
Tips & Warnings
- You can also kill itch weed by applying glyphosate or sodium chlorate, but keep in mind that these chemicals will kill any other plant that is living around them, including your lawn.
- Wear protective clothing to prevent being stung by the itch weed.
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