Spotted spurge is a low-growing broad leaf weed, native to North America. This summer annual is not picky about where it grows – lawns, cracks in sidewalks, nurseries, gardens, athletic fields, and nursery containers. This plant produces copious amounts of sticky seeds that are easily spread by animals or lawn equipment.
These seeds can lay dormant for a number of years waiting for the sun, before they break on through once spring has come. As with most weeds, your best deterrent is a healthy lawn. Small outbreaks can be controlled by hand weeding – but wear gloves as this plant’s milky sap can be a skin irritant to some people. Mulch is a great way to prevent it in landscape beds because the seeds require light to germinate. If you find your lawn infested at the end of summer, a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring can be effective treatment as well.
Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert
Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.