What Kills Chamberbitter in Bermuda Grass?

August 21, 2022
Pride In Turf

Pride In Turf is a weed control company in Atlanta. We get asked about dealing with Chamberbitter in Bermuda Grass and here is our answer below.

Chamberbitter is a weed that can be a major nuisance in your landscape.  The weed has the official name of niruri (hyllanthus urinaria), which means “break stone” in Spanish.  It later became known as chamberbitter.  The yellow, ball-like seeds of this plant develop under the leaves.  The seeds need very warm soil in order to germinate so you will not notice the seedlings until mid-summer.  As you continue to mow your lawn, the plant stays at around 3 inches tall and looks like a mimosa leaf.  Chamberbitter can be controlled; however it can be very tricky.  Some of the treatments for chamberbitter can also kill your plants.  

Chamberbitter Infestation

A lawn that is infested with chamberbitter probably indicates that the lawn needs care or lacks vigor.  Chamberbitters have a harder time establishing in a thick, healthy and vigorous lawn.  So, it is important to provide proper lawn care (mowing, watering, fertilizing, sun) to minimize chamberbitter problems.  These weeds can sprout up overnight.  If not taken care of, mowing over them will only spread more seeds out to cause a bigger infestation of the lawn.  Chamberbitters grow quickly, even in drought.  It is difficult to completely get rid of them in your lawn; however, they can be managed.

How to Control Chamberbitter Weeds

When chamberbitters are young, you can pull them manually easily.  This is the best and safest option for those found in your beds.  You can pull chamberbitters in your lawn when they are young and there are not too many of them.  It helps to water the area prior to pulling them.  The only time it is ideal to pull chamberbitters is when they are young.

Treatment

A preemergent herbicide is a good start, but make sure you have the proper equipment and personal protective equipment for safety (gloves, glasses, mask).  A preemergent like Isoxaben 75WG is a best bet so you do not have to deal with the chamberbitter weeds in the first place.  

Application of a post-emergent herbicide is good, such as Celsius WG, as this helps to control this very stubborn weed.  The good thing about this is that it will kill the chamberbitters without harming other desirable plants around the weed.  Reapplication may be necessary to control further growth of chamberbitters.

Prevention

The best way to prevent chamberbitters (or return of these weeds), is to keep a healthy lawn.  Have a regular routine for mowing, watering, and feeding the lawn to provide needed nutrients.  A healthy lawn helps choke out weeds trying to establish themselves in your lawn.  Pre-emergent herbicide applications in the Spring can help prevent the return of chamberbitters.  Mulching is also very helpful in this process around flower beds to keep weeds from growing in the beds.  The main prevention is to keep up with lawn care regularly.

Conclusion

Basically, chamberbitters can be quite a nuisance in taking care of a lawn in a warm climate with Bermuda grass.  You can manage this problem with care and some work.  Keep the following steps in mind:

  • Maintain a healthy lawn with regular mowing, water, and adding nutrients to prevent weed growth.  If there are thin spots in the yard, work on those areas to get grass growing well.  Chamberbitters and other weeds love those thin spots and will take them over.
  • When chamberbitters begin to form and are still young, pull them – providing your area is not too large or too infested.
  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to help prevent growth of weeds in early Spring.  Water after spreading the herbicide.  Later, before it gets too hot (85 degrees or above) you can reapply if needed.
  • Cover your beds with mulch at least 2 – 3 inches thick.  This keeps the sun from areas where you do not want weeds to grow to help prevent growth of chamberbitters and other weeds like Crabgrass.
  • Apply a post-emergent herbicide in late Spring or Summer.  There are products that will kill the weeds and not the Bermuda grass.

Taking care of chamberbitters can be a time consuming task.  You may contact Pride In Turf for assistance with your lawn or recommendations.  They can save you a lot of time and money, as they have the right products and know when and how to apply them properly.

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