In lawns: The best control strategy is to mow low and often (removing the clippings rather than letting them fly), along with regular lawn feeding as this weed thrives in poor soil. Regular mowing discourages seed set and any seeds that do form will be collected and removed from the lawn. Raking the lawn before mowing to lift the foliage and seed heads might also help. Bin the clippings rather than putting them on the compost heap.
There isn’t much in the way of vegetative spread by runners or roots, so hand weeding should also be effective if you have the patience to deal with this small plant.
In lawns: Apply two or three applications of weedkillers containing 2,4-D plus mecoprop-P or 2,4-D plus dicamba. Examples include Doff Lawn Spot Weeder, Westland Resolva Lawn Weedkiller or Scotts Lawn Builder Lawn Food Plus Weed Control (also contains fertiliser).
Do not add the first lawn clippings after application of a lawn weedkiller to the compost heap. To avoid possible contamination of compost, do not collect the clippings at all but mow frequently and allow the short clippings to remain on the surface of the lawn. These will quickly disperse to leave an acceptable finish.
Weedkillers often cause severe damage if applied to lawns within six months of sowing or turf-laying.
See more on selecting lawn weedkillers.
Inclusion of a weedkiller product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener.
Weedkillers for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining weedkillers available to gardeners; see sections 1b and c)
Chemicals: using a sprayer
Chemicals: using safely and effectively
Chemicals: using spot and broad-scale
Weeds: non-chemical control