How to Get Rid of Hitchhiker Weeds? (You Have to Try This)

Many new plants become invasive when uprooted and transplanted to new regions, crowding out native species and affecting native insect pollinators and other animal populations that rely on them. Human movement, international trade, and even people moving to different places with their favorite crops and ornamentals are responsible, but only to a degree.

Hitchhikers Weeds are a problem. Be meticulous when disposing of weed seeds and other parts that may have clung to your clothing, etc; clean your clothing, your car, and vacuum your dog if it went with you. Check your garden for signs of these invaders, pull them up and burn them immediately.

Dispose of Them Correctly

When you go home from a trek or camping trip in the woods, vacuum all of the clothes and accessories you brought with you.

This includes your car, which might be transporting a slew of unwanted visitors on its tires, seats, and underbelly – yes, you need to have it cleaned underneath.

Do not put the waste in your compost pile or your yard. If you can, burn it or drop it into a bucket of diluted bleach

Leave No Space for the Invaders

Hitchhiker weeds grow in disturbed areas of the landscape. This is because transferred seeds can easily take root in loose soil. Due to the lack of competition, they can establish themselves.

Cover any sections of your garden where the soil has recently been loosened and left exposed with landscaping fabric or a thick layer of mulch.

Pull Them Up

Pull any of these weeds that appear in your yard before they begin to flower. You do not want them to set seeds and spread them throughout the area.

Use a fast-growing cover crop to suffocate them if they are too many to be physically hauled out. They’ll get a taste of their own medicine as a result of this.

Crowd Them Out

If there are too many to physically pull out, smother them with a fast-growing cover crop. They will get a taste of their own medicine as a result of it.

What are Hitchhiker Weeds?

Seeds from the weeds known as “hitchhikers” stick to clothing and fur, making it difficult to get rid of them right once.

Their varied barbed features ensure that the seeds spread far and wide via animal locomotion and that the majority of them can be shaken off somewhere down the line.

A Startling Number of Hooks and Barbs

Hitchhiker weeds use a startling number of hooks and barbs, as well as sticky compounds, to achieve their aim. People and pets may be injured by some of these.

Another significant issue is their spread into agricultural areas, resulting in crop losses. As a result, chemical weed killers are frequently used, contaminating soil and water and entering the food chain of humans and other animals.

You Can Help Prevent the Propagation of these Hitchhikers

You can help prevent the propagation of these hitchhikers by carefully inspecting your clothing and pets. Making sure to throw those undesirable weeds away before emerging from a wild environment full of sowing plants.

Also, reseeding damaged areas with a cover crop, such as your garden plot, might ensure that hitchhikers face too much competition to flourish.

When such weeds appear, the only way to get rid of them is to dig them up. The plant will sprout from root fragments if you do not get three to four inches (7.5 to 10 cm) of the root while it is young.

If your weed is already blossoming or going to seed, trim it to the ground and carefully bag it for disposal. Composting will not kill many of these weeds.

Inspect Your Vehicle

Last but not least, inspect your vehicle after traveling on gravel roads or through muddy places.

Even if you do not see any weed seeds, it is a good idea to clean your wheel wells, undercarriage, and any other areas where seeds could be hiding.

Different Kinds of Hitchhiker

Here are some common types of Hitchhiker weeds:

Bidens – The seeds of these tiny white and yellow flowers, also known as Spanish Needles, beggar-ticks, tickseed sunflowers, or burr marigolds.

They have bristles and barbs that allow them to cling to the garments and fur of animals.

Desmodium – The pods of this legume, sometimes known as beggar lice or tick clover. It has a sticky felt-like covering that helps them attach to animals’ coats, clothing, and shoes.

Burdock – The spine-filled spherical seedpods become entangled in clothing and hair and are difficult to remove.

Bur-grass/sandspur – The seeds of this grass include hard spines that, when run through, can inflict damage to your skin or the eyes of pets.

Martynia – The popular names refer to the seed pods’ curved spines, which aid in attachment to animal fur.

Hordeum murinum/ Foxtail barley – The high spikes of this grass cut ties into countless needle-like fragments that embed themselves in animal materials and hair.

This Hitchhiker can pierce the eyes of canines.

Jumping Cholla – Tiny parts of this desert cactus easily detach from the parent plant and become caught in animals’ coats and people’s clothing.

Due to their sharp spines, they are frequently painful.

Various Ways to Get Rid of Hitchhiker Weeds

You may never be able to prevent the spread of these weeds totally, but you may help to slow them down without resorting to harsh chemicals.

There are over 600 species of weed seeds from the Hitchhikers Weeds, and all of them are intent upon staying alive!

Several ways are listed below:

Wear Clothing that Defeats Hitchhiker Mechanisms

When going on a hike, stay away from hairy woolen or cotton textiles.

Smooth polyester and nylon garments are less prone to embed burrs and needles from the seeds. Rather than polyester fleece, choose puffy coats with down or polyester filling.

Rubber or leather boots are the most excellent choices for footwear. You should also cover your hair to keep hitchhikers out. Use a plastic/nylon picnic cloth if you are going to have a picnic out in the open.

Shake Them Off

Check your clothing and shoes for seeds and other debris as you leave the wilderness. Even if you do not have any visual evidence, give them a vigorous shake.

How to Get Rid of Weeds in Your Garden?

1.Learn to Read Weeds

Weeds can sometimes be a sign of a problem with the soil or the location. Correct them so that your lawn grasses thrive and weeds are kept at bay.

Ground ivy, for example, thrives when the soil surface is moist. It also flourishes in regions that are too shady for grass to grow.

If ground ivy is an issue, consider improving soil drainage by aerating or removing tiny cores of soil.

Remove tree branches in dark places deliberately to allow more sunshine to reach the soil’s surface.


Weeds can be prevented by maintaining healthy grass with adequate mowing and irrigation.

In small lawns where the number of weeds is not overwhelming, hand-weeding is still the most effective defense.

It is best for controlling annual broadleaf weeds. The most straightforward approach to keep them from spreading is to pull them when they are young before they flower and seed.

Early detection of perennial weeds is critical.

Dandelions, for example, grow deep taproots that are difficult to remove once they reach maturity. Remove the entire plant, including the root.

As any root fragments that remain underground can sprout new plants. If fresh sprouts appear, pluck them out repeatedly to starve the weed and kill it.

When the soil is damp, weeding is much easier. The dandelion digger, for example, helps get to the root by poking deep into the dirt.

Once the weed is gone, reseed the bare space as soon as possible. Otherwise, new weeds will take over.

3.Pry Weeds from Paving with a Weeder

The Lee Valley Tools Telescoping Crack Weeder ($9.95) eliminates grass and other weeds from cracks in patios and walkways.

To reach and scrape bothersome plants, the L-shaped stainless-steel blade fits between bricks and other pavers.

You can weed kneeling or standing because the metal handle adjusts from 28 to 45 inches.

4.Off with Their Heads with a Scuffle Hoe

The double-edged hinged blade of the scuffle hoe, also known as an oscillating or action hoe, rocks back and forth in a push-pull motion. It cuts weeds off at the top as it rocks.

Beheading repeatedly depletes the weed roots’ stored food, causing the plant to die.

Shallow cultivation also prevents the spread of weed seeds to the surface, where they can germinate.

5.Flame Weeds

 Gas-powered flamers kill weeds by heating them to the point where their cell walls burst.

Young annual weeds are killed with a single pass with the flamer, such as the Primus Gardener Weed Destroyer ($46.95).

They will not appear scorched, but they’ll perish in a matter of hours. Perennial weeds with deep roots tend to regenerate and require treatment regularly.

Never use a flamer in a dry, fire-prone environment or in planting beds with combustible mulch.

Final Thoughts

Plants have a variety of strategies to multiply and distribute their seeds. They are not restricted to adaptations that aid in the dispersal of seeds by wind or flood water.

We are talking about hitchhiking weeds and their devious strategies. These include seeds or other pieces that hitch a ride on unwitting animal carriers, such as people, to reach new locations.

As stated above, there are over 600 species of these weed seeds – Hitchhikers weeds – that we have to contend with in order to have peace in the home and garden!

So just give those places a wide berth, and we won’t often have to deal with significant scares like this one.

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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