A green lawn is a source of homeowner pride and adds tremendously to a home’s curb appeal and value. Conversely, patchy grass with unsightly weeds of varying heights and colors is an eyesore. Most of us know that once weeds are allowed to grow unchecked, getting rid of them is difficult.
Certain plants are always labeled as weeds, but any unwanted plant can be considered a weed. It is any plant that is not the species and variety of the turfgrass already growing there. So, controlling weeds is an important homeowner’s responsibility. Maintaining a dense lawn of turfgrass provides the best defense against lawn weeds.
The national average cost for weed control service is between $65 and $150 per treatment. Most homeowners spend around $100 for site preparation, basic weed pulling, chemical herbicide application, equipment use, and clean up on an average 10,900 sq.ft. lawn. On the low end, you can hire a service provider for $30 per treatment to apply a “weed and feed” herbicide-fertilizer combination on a small 1,400 sq.ft. lawn. To hire a weed control service to handle an extremely weedy 43,000 sq.ft. lawn, including site preparation, weed pulling, herbicide application, equipment use, and clean up, expect to spend around $200 per treatment.
|Weed Removal Costs|
|National average cost||$100|
If you want a healthy lawn that grows at a uniform height, weed control treatments are fundamental. Weeds establish easily in most soil conditions and environments, and some are classified as invasive and noxious. They survive, adapt, reproduce, and propagate better than other plants, producing numerous seeds that disperse freely over long distances. These seeds can remain dormant for a long time. Weeds grow rapidly, out-competing turfgrass for light, water, and nutrients, and they restrict the growth of desirable plants. Some weeds even damage homes, with roots and vines blocking pipes and finding their way into cracks in foundations and exteriors. Woody weeds also interfere with the operation of equipment like lawnmowers. Stands of weeds can even serve as a habitat for pests and plant-based diseases.
A professional weed control service uses a combination of manual labor, herbicidal, and fertilization methods to treat areas prone to weeds, such as yards, walkways, and driveways. Costs vary by treatment method, which fall into four main categories: weed and feed, preemergence, postemergence, and hand pulling. Cost ranges for each are as follows:
|Type of Weed Control||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Weed and Feed (Herbicide and Fertilizer)||$30 - $60 per application|
|Postemergence Weed Control||$65 - $85 per application|
|Preemergence Weed Control||$70 - $90 per application|
|Weed Pulling (Manual Labor)||$30 - $60 per hour|
Weed-and-feed weed control ranges from $30 to $60 per professional application. Weed and Feed is a generic product professionals use as part of a weed control treatment to kill weeds when fertilizing your lawn. Application kills existing weeds but can include preemergence herbicide in the formulation. This treatment may not kill crabgrass.
The average cost for postemergence weed control is $65 to $85 per professional application. Postemergence herbicides treat weeds that have sprouted. Your professional knows which treatment to apply based on the weeds growing in your lawn. Postemergence herbicides work best when weeds are less than 4 inches tall and are most effective at temperatures between 60 and 80º Fahrenheit. Weed control services do not apply postemergence herbicide when warm-season turfgrasses are transitioning from winter dormancy to active growth because of the risk of injury. Instead, they apply it during the winter dormancy period or on active growth in the summer. Depending on the postemergence herbicide applied, a rain-free period of 4 to 24 hours is required to absorb the chemicals into the weeds. Avoid mowing for at least three days before and after the herbicide application. This gives the herbicide adequate weed material to act on and time to permeate throughout the plants.
Preemergence weed control ranges from $70 to $90 per professional application. Preemergence herbicides kill weeds before they germinate and sprout. After application and before the seeds germinate, about ½ inch of water is required to activate the chemicals. Preemergence herbicide is designed for use at certain times during the year. Your professional applies it in early spring to control warm-season annual weeds and again in June or July to prevent weeds that sprout throughout the summer. To get ahead of cool-season annual weeds, your professional treats your lawn in early fall. Preemergence treatments often contain a “weed and feed” herbicide and fertilizer.
Expect to pay $30 to $60 per hour for weed pulling. Professional weed pulling services or hand weeding are effective in removing weeds with deep taproots and extensive rhizomes. Your professional may use a combination of manual tools and power equipment to remove weeds manually, such as hand-weeding tools, mechanical weed pullers, machetes, grubbers, root busters, a flaming torch, trimmer, tiller, backhoe, and a power mower.
Besides specific herbicides for pre and post-germination, some chemicals kill certain weeds or all plants they contact. Selective herbicides target certain plants, while non-selective herbicides kill any plant. A good weed control specialist evaluates your lawn to determine the best approach.
|Type of Herbicide||Average Costs per 1/4 Acre (Materials Only)|
|Non-Selective||$10 - $72|
|Selective||$27 - $36|
Non-selective herbicide costs $10 to $72 per ¼ acre. Non-selective herbicides do not target selected plants. Instead, they kill all plants they contact. Weed control service providers use their professional judgment to determine if this is needed and then apply it with care, keeping it away from plants, shrubs, and parts of the lawn you want to keep. Common chemicals used in non-selective herbicides include glyphosate and paraquat. Non-selective herbicides are powerful, but they only have a limited period during which the active chemicals are effective. Therefore, installing new grass and plants after an application can be successful after the chemicals become inactive, making them useful for clearing a site of old vegetation. Non-selective herbicides vary widely in price due to the level of concentration of the active ingredients.
The average cost of selective herbicide is $27 to $36 per ¼ acre. Selective herbicides kill a specific weed. A great example is a selective herbicide that kills weedy grasses but not broadleaf weeds. The benefit of using a selective herbicide is that it targets an undesirable plant without damaging your desirable landscaping plants and grass. Sometimes, a selective herbicide is designed to kill the same grass growing in your lawn but appears in your flowerbeds, such as selective herbicides that target Bermuda grass.
Today’s consumer has numerous choices for lawn care, including organic, chemical, and both. For environmental concerns, the organic option seems to be the most conscientious choice. See the price differences between the two:
|Type of Herbicide||Average Costs per 1/4 Acre (Labor Included)|
|Chemical||$30 - $120|
|Organic||$40 - $165|
The average cost of chemical weed killers is $30 to $120 per ¼ acre. Chemical weed killers deliver quick results and offer more options because they kill existing weeds and prevent them from germinating. They can also kill on contact. Chemical herbicides are readily available and less expensive than their organic counterparts. Because some of the chemicals are harmful to humans, pets, and the environment, carefully follow the directions or hire a professional to mix and apply these solutions in the proper concentrations. Chemical weed killers affect plants’ growth and have effects that last longer than organic, contact-only herbicides. They are often misused, overapplied, and abused by DIY homeowners. Weed control service professionals know how to use these in the correct proportions for your lawn.
Organic herbicides are made of naturally occurring or derived products and by-products that demonstrate the ability to control and kill weeds. They are non-selective, contact-only, postemergence weed killers, only affecting the parts of the weed where they land and not the roots underground. Organic herbicides are more expensive than chemicals, with the average cost of treatments ranging from $40 to $165 per ¼ acre. Principal ingredients are vinegar, essential oils, and herbicidal soap. Corn gluten meal is another popular organic herbicide that is a good source of nitrogen for fertilizer, making it an organic version of the “weed and feed” product. However, corn gluten meal is generally the most expensive option for organic weed killer.
After determining what is affecting your lawn, your professional develops a plan for the herbicides to use and when to apply them. Organic herbicides are non-selective, which means the cost range is the same for all types of weeds and varies widely due to the differences in product costs, such as vinegar versus corn gluten. The following table details the average costs of the most common treatments used for each weed:
|Type of Weed||Average Cost of Chemical Herbicide for 1/4 Acre (Labor Included)||Average Cost of Organic Herbicide for 1/4 Acre (Labor Included)|
|Grassy||$30 - $115||$40 - $165|
|Perennial||$30 - $115||$40 - $165|
|Annual||$60 - $120||$40 - $165|
|Broadleaf||$60 - $120||$40 - $165|
For grassy weed control treatments, expect to pay $30 to $115 per ¼ acre for chemical treatment and $40 to $165 per ¼ acre for organic. Grassy weeds grow on your lawn because they thrive under the same conditions as turfgrass. Examples include bluegrass, Dallisgrass, rescuegrass, ryegrass, and sandbur. Except for Dallisgrass, your professional controls grassy weeds by applying preemergence herbicides in early spring. Professionals control Dallisgrass by spot-treating it with a postemergence herbicide. Cool-season grassy weeds, such as annual bluegrass, require preemergence herbicides, which your professional applies in early fall or when your lawn is dormant. Nutsedge is an especially hard-to-control weed that looks like a grass, but it is a member of the sedge family, requiring a selective herbicide.
Perennial weed control treatment ranges from $60 to $120 per ¼ acre for chemical treatment and $40 to $165 per ¼ acre for organic. Perennial weeds return year after year and can be quite invasive. Engage a professional early on to control them. Examples include bindweed, nutsedge, and quackgrass. Chemical treatments include glyphosate, quinclorac, thifensulfuron, tribenuron, aminopyralid, bromoxynil, and clopyralid. Organic treatments include mulching, vinegar, and corn gluten. Spring treatment controls seedling plants, while fall treatment controls established plants.
Annual weeds control treatment costs between $60 and $120 per ¼ acre for chemical treatment and $40 to $165 per ¼ acre for organic. Annual weeds arrive yearly and die off. Treat them with a preemergence herbicide in late summer to prevent their germination and growth. Examples include annual bluegrass, crabgrass, and foxtail.
Expect to pay $60 to $120 per ¼ acre for chemical treatment and $40 to $165 per ¼ acre for organic broadleaf weed control. Selective postemergence herbicides are the treatment of choice for broadleaf weeds, which flowers and has wide leaves. Examples include chickweed, clover, dandelion, dock, henbit, mustards, spurge, and aster. These weeds are relatively easy to control by organic, chemical, and even hand-pulling treatments.
As with every industry, there are competing companies. It is helpful to compare the facts about the company and then weigh the cost for the services each one offers. Keep in mind, larger companies may charge more, but you are often getting more experienced technicians. Conversely, just because a company is smaller doesn’t mean they aren’t better at what they do. The price ranges from $60 to $120.
|Company||Pricing per Treatment (Labor Included)|
|Lawn Doctor||$60 - $100|
|TruGreen||$65 - $110|
|Weed Man||$70 - $120|
To receive weed control treatment from Lawn Doctor, expect to pay between $60 to $100 per treatment. The company was established in 1967 and has over 450 locations in 40 states. Lawn Doctor offers customized lawn care services, including fertilization, weed control, aeration, seeding, and tree and shrub care. Using preemergence, fertilizer, and broadleaf and crabgrass control, the experts at the Lawn Doctor franchise maintain and beautify your yard keeping it free of weeds.
The price for Trugreen weed control ranges from $65 to $110 per treatment. Trugreen offers a wide variety of services, including weed control, fertilization, customized lawn treatments, aeration and overseeding, tree and shrub care. With this company, you may select from three programs for weed control. The services for these programs change as the price increases. The company website states that Trugreen is the largest lawn care company in the U.S., with 2.3 million customers.
Weed Man charges an average of $70 to $120 per treatment. With over 50 years in the yard and landscape industry, Weedman offers professionally trained technicians, locally owned and operated franchises, and top of the line products. Customers can choose from various options, including fertilization, weed and insect control, disease prevention, overseeding, and aeration. With clients in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, Weed Man provides quality services at an affordable price.
Weed management is a year-long process that involves many types of herbicides working together to control different weed types. Treatments that are part of the overall cost include an initial non-selective herbicide if needed, followed by preemergence, postemergence, and selective herbicides. Sprayers and other equipment are also part of the cost. Many professionals provide an estimate based on the lawn size. Weed control cost per acre ranges from $75 to $200.
|Lawn Size||Chemical Herbicide Cost (Labor Included)||Organic Herbicide Cost (Labor Included)|
|⅛ Acre||$60 - $80||$130 - $150|
|¼ Acre||$80 - $110||$150 - $170|
|½ Acre||$115 - $130||$160 - $180|
|1 Acre||$135 - $160||$180 - $220|
A weed mat blocks sunlight to the weeds while letting water seep through to the soil, hydrating desirable plants. Weed mats can be made of plastic or fabric. Plastic weed mats do not let as much water soak through as fabric. They are also considered by many to be bad for the environment. Fabric weed mats are more durable, let enough water seep through, and are made of a biodegradable material. No matter the material, weed mats are usually sold on a roll in 3, 6, and 12-foot widths. Special staples help hold the weed mat in place. Weed mats plus staples range in price from $15 for a 3-foot wide fabric roll of 5-foot long to $300 for a 4-foot wide polypropylene roll 250 feet in length. Landscape fabric price ranges from $0.06 to $1 per sq.ft.
|Material||Cost per Sq.Ft. (Materials Only)|
|Fabric||$0.06 - $1|
|Plastic||$0.10 - $0.30|
|Burlap||$0.15 - $0.25|
Weed abatement cost is $70 to $120 for one treatment, depending on the size of the area. Weed abatement is often a requirement by the state or county in which you live. It is a court-ordered procedure focused on fire hazards or public health and safety concerns and is based on the presence of overgrown weeds. Notice is generally given if the weeds are higher than 4 inches. These areas are prone to fire and attract and house nuisance wildlife such as snakes, rats, or other wild animals. If you receive a weed abatement notice, you are required to remove the weeds.
The cost for pet-friendly weed killers ranges from $30 to $80 for 1 to 2.5 gallons. Keeping your furry friend safe from toxic chemicals can be challenging outdoors. Fertilizers and weed and pest control products often contain glyphosate or other harmful ingredients. Although not all of these elements will hurt your pets, it is wise to choose pet-friendly weed killers to avoid allergic reactions, illness, or even death due to possible ingestion. The concern is finding effective weed killers that are safe and pet-friendly.
Many homeowners hire a lawn service to maintain their lawn, including mowing, fertilizing, and yard cleanup. Maintenance needs vary based on location, season, size, and frequency. The average cost range of mowing and maintaining a lawn is $30 to $80.
Fertilizer adds nutrients to your soil to help the grass grow thick, lush, and green. Like weed control, lawn fertilization is a year-long activity requiring multiple treatments spaced out over the seasons. Fertilizing a lawn costs between $150 and $500.
Lawn aeration often accompanies weed treatment, but it is a task best performed during the preemergence phase. This prevents dispersing weed seeds all over your lawn and avoids stressing your lawn during the hottest months of the year. Expect to pay between $218 and $872 to aerate a lawn.
Consider using rubber or organic mulches, which create a physical barrier to weed penetration and eliminate the light required for weed seeds to break dormancy. To be effective, organic mulches such as tree mulch, pine needles, or grass clippings (even pecan shells) should be at least 3 inches deep. Rubber mulches should also be 3 inches deep. Most mulches do not do a very good job of controlling perennial weeds. The average cost for mulching is $150 to $400.
An overgrown garden or lawn has grass and weeds that are taller than 6 inches. They are characteristic of neglected lawns, often resulting from properties left vacant. Hidden in the tall plants, one might find debris and garbage, small animal and insect homes, and woody weeds that can damage the average lawnmower.
Pulling weeds is a time-consuming but effective method for removing all parts of the plant from the ground, such as the roots, stem, and leaves. It is a more precise method of removing undesirable plants without disturbing the other plants nearby. The downside is that this process can bring buried weed seeds to the surface, where they might germinate. Conversely, spraying weeds eventually kills the plants, but you have to wait up to a week. In addition, you must protect desirable plants from the overspray of toxic chemicals that might kill them. So, the answer for which one is better depends on whether you use manual labor to get rid of the weeds immediately or wait for sprayed-on herbicides to take effect.
Sometimes, yes. The process of pulling weeds can expose weed seeds buried underground, exposing them to sunlight and creating the ideal conditions for them to germinate into new weeds.
The best time to remove weeds is when they are small, and the soil is moist. Small weeds have less-extensive roots, and moist soil helps remove the entire plant.
Professional landscapers take a two-pronged approach, using both preemergence and postemergence chemical products throughout the year. Preemergence control includes herbicides like bensulide, dichlobenil, and simizinein, which do not work on germinated plants. Postemergence controls include products that contain glyphosate as the active ingredient, such as the branded product called Roundup.
Weed killer control is sprayed at different times throughout the year according to the type of weed in season. This means that spraying is done all year to prevent weeds before they start. The initial application of weed killer can be done anytime.