April 6, 2017 - 3:08pm -- smith.263@osu.edu

Recently a new product called "Roundup For Lawns" was introduced to the marketplace. Your first response might be something like 'so what?' And, it's a logical question . . . until you look closer at the label of "Roundup For Lawns" and realize that it doesn't contain ANY of the active ingredient that's in Roundup, that being glyphosate. Since it's named similarly, and packaged similarly, it offers lots of opportunity for confusion, misuse, and the death of plants that may not have been intended to be killed.

Here's the problem. "Roundup For Lawns" is just that, a new 4-way broadleaf and grassy herbicide combination that does not kill desirable lawn and turf grasses.The herbicide active ingredients in "Roundup For Lawns" are MCPA, quinclorac, dicamba and sulfentrazone. These herbicides have been around for a while and collectively are effective on a broad range of weeds that might infest a lawn or landscape such as dandelion, crabgrass and nutsedge. "Roundup For Lawns" is a selective herbicide that controls specific weeds, but not lawn grasses.

On the other hand, "Roundup" has an active ingredient of glyphosate and is not selective. It will kill all plants with the exception of a few such as marestail that have developed resistance.

On the surface this may not seem like a problem. That is, until one realizes with the packages appearing to be so similar there is great potential to grab the wrong product from the shelf and use it in a place where plants that were not intended to be killed are at risk.

Roundup For Lawns left below, Roundup on the right

The moral of the story is simple.

  • Always read the label of any pesticide you may be considering for use.
  • Be sure the pesticide you select will act on only the pests you intend for it to.
  • When storing pesticides, be certain they still have the proper label and it remains legible.
  • Know the difference between product names, and the active ingredients in them.

Roundup is a product name and alone, is not a clear indication of what the product inside the package will do. Don't be fooled by products that have a similar name . . . read the label!

- Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County