Patches of crabgrass can make any lawn look less than appealing. That’s because crabgrass is actually a relentless weed that takes advantage of your lawn’s bare spots and continues to grow, year after year.
There are two types of products that can help you out: Crabgrass preventer and crabgrass killer. Crabgrass preventer, also known as pre-emergent, is used as a fertilizer to keep crabgrass from showing up in the first place. Crabgrass killer is more like a spot treatment for patches of crabgrass that have already taken over your lawn.
When it comes to lawn products, using too much or picking the wrong product can kill your lawn and make it ugly. So, we’re going to go over the best crabgrass killers and preventer on Amazon right now. Then, we’ll discuss what you need to know before making your purchase.
Our Top Picks
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 Crabgrass Killer Reviews
- 2.1 Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
- 2.2 GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed + Crabgrass Preventer
- 2.3 Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food
- 2.4 Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns Plus Crabgrass Control Concentrate
- 2.5 GREEN LIGHT Wipe-Out Crabgrass Killer PLUS Concentrate
- 2.6 BioAdvanced Weed & Feed Crabgrass Killer Science-Based Solutions Lawn Fertilizer
- 2.7 Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control
- 3 Other Best Selling Options
- 4 Crabgrass Preventer Buyer’s Guide
- 5 Crabgrass Preventer FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
- The Best Pick: Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
This product is just about all you need when you want that crabgrass and weed gone! It’ll outlast any rain or snow and can be used just about all-year-round. Use in the spring to keep crabgrass and weeds away or use in the fall to prevent winter weeds and moss.
- The Premium Pick: GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed + Crabgrass Preventer
When your lawn is your pride and joy, you can’t go wrong with a pro-grade fertilizer and herbicide. This product slowly gets to work over a period of 12 weeks, slowly forcing out over 200 different types of common weeds.
- The Budget Pick: Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food
Why buy both a fertilizer and a crabgrass preventer when you can get both in an affordable package? This product is perfect for keeping your lawn strong and luscious while also getting rid of any annoying crabgrass or weeds that have taken over.
Crabgrass Killer Reviews
Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
If you know anything about lawn care, then you know that Scotts is one of the most reputable lawn care brands out there! Keep in mind that this is just crabgrass and weed preventer and is not infused with any type of fertilizer to boost lawn growth.
Every 10-pound bag can cover about 5,000 square feet, so you might need to load up on a few bags just to cover your whole lawn. The good news is, just one application should be enough to last you the whole season.
What’s really neat about this product is that it has quite a few uses. First, you can obviously apply it in early spring to keep crabgrass from taking over your lawn when temperatures finally reach the 60s.
Even better is the fact that you can also apply it in the fall too. This will help to keep those annoying winter weeds like chickweed away while also helping to keep moss from developing on your lawn. In essence, you’re tackling your lawn needs all-year-round.
If the crabgrass or weeds on your lawn tend to be a bit relentless, you might have to reapply this product within a few months. Just make sure that you’re not using it more than twice a year, as you don’t want to kill your lawn too.
- Resistant to rain, snow, and freezing (apply it whenever)
- Can be reapplied to enhance results
- Many users are impressed with the results year after year
- Kills moss and winter weeds too
- Effects should last the whole year
- Some confusion whether it includes fertilizer or not (it does NOT)
GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed + Crabgrass Preventer
When your lawn’s health and appearance mean the world to you, this GreenView product will surely be exactly what you’re looking for. We do want to point out that, since this is considered a “pro-grade” product, it’s a bit more expensive than some of the others on this list.
An 18-pound bag will cover about 5,000 square feet and a 36-pound bag works on about 10,000 square feet. But, you are limited when it comes to the states this product can be shipped to, so this product is off the table if you live in California, Hawaii, or Alabama.
What you’ll like is that this product can kill over 200 types of lawn weeds like crabgrass, poison ivy, and dandelions. Better yet, this product is a combination of a crabgrass preventer, weed killer, and lawn feeder. It’s everything your lawn needs, all in one bag.
This product is considered a slow-release formula, meaning it’ll slowly take effect over the course of about 12 weeks. So, don’t be that surprised if you don’t see immediate results, as it takes a little while for it to kick in.
For the best results, you’ll need to apply this product as soon as the first dandelion appears on your lawn. Make sure the lawn is wet when you apply this product to allow it to get deep down into the roots. Mow three days later.
Keep in mind that this product is not suitable for certain types of grass. Check the Amazon listing to find out if your type of grass is covered.
- Lawn feeder, crabgrass preventer, and weed killer all-in-one
- Kills over 200 types of weeds, including poison ivy
- Slowly begins to work over 12 weeks
- Considered a pro-grade product
- More price option if you only need crab grass prevention
Scotts Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food
When you want your lawn to grow, avoid crabgrass, and save money, this Scotts Turf Builder is exactly what you need. Each bag covers about 5,000 square feet, but there’s also an option to buy the 15,000 square foot bag too.
Since this is a pre-emergent, you need to make sure that you’re applying it before the crabgrass decides to grow in (i.e. Around April or May). It won’t be all that effective in killing crabgrass that’s already there.
But, this product won’t just work to keep crabgrass out. It’s also useful in keeping weeds like chickweed and poa annua away too. At the same time, it’ll help to replenish your lawn’s nutrients and greatly improve your lawn’s appearance.
What you do need to make sure of is that you’re watering your lawn within a few days after. If you don’t, the product won’t be absorbed as well and the effects you see won’t be all that impressive.
- Decent price for fertilizer and herbicide
- Withstands rain, snow, and freezing weather
- Comes in a 15,000 bag too for larger lawns
- Won’t kill crabgrass that’s already there
Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns Plus Crabgrass Control Concentrate
When the spreader just doesn’t seem to be cutting it, it’s time to break out the hose and put it to good use with this Ortho Weed B Gon! This product comes in a 32-ounce bottle that easily attaches directly to the hose, allowing for easy spreading and lawn watering.
All you have to do is connect the adapter to your hose, change the strength, and spray it onto your lawn. You can spray the entire lawn down or you can just choose to focus on the areas with crabgrass or weeds.
What’s even better is the fact that the handle for the hose attachment is ergonomic, meaning no hand fatigue when you’re applying this product to larger lawns.
This product is capable of killing over 200 different types of weeds, including dandelions and crabgrass. Better yet it’s known for killing these weeds all the way down to the root, meaning they’ll be gone for the rest of the season.
- Ergonomic handle for easy application
- Can easily apply to the entire lawn or specific areas
- Kills over 200 types of weeds
- Takes the time out of using the spreader
- Some types of weeds aren’t killed
GREEN LIGHT Wipe-Out Crabgrass Killer PLUS Concentrate
With every 32-ounce bottle of this GREEN LIGHT product, you’re getting a product that’s capable of killing over 250 types of weeds. Better yet, this product will kill these weeds down to the root, meaning they won’t just grow back in a few weeks or a few months.
Your lawn will look much better without those dandelions, foxtail, clover, chickweed, and crabgrass, but you’ll also notice that your lawn looks even more beautiful. That’s because this product also helps to nourish your lawn and boost grass growth.
A lot of lawn care products are effective, but you might be waiting for weeks or months to see any type of noticeable results. What makes this product different is that it begins working on contact, though you might have to use a bit more than advertised to see consistent results.
The best part is that a single bottle of this product can cover about 6,400 square feet of grass. Plus, you don’t have to waste your time using a spreader, as all you really need is a hose or a spray bottle.
For this product to work, you will need to water it down (as per the manufacturer’s instructions) either through a spray bottle or when attached to a hose sprayer. Just keep in mind that you will have to reapply within a few weeks to really kill crabgrass effectively.
BioAdvanced Weed & Feed Crabgrass Killer Science-Based Solutions Lawn Fertilizer
When you want a nice looking lawn and crabgrass dead, you can’t go wrong with this BioAdvanced lawn product. It comes in a 24-pound bag that can treat up to 10,000 square feet, but you can also opt for the smaller 12-pound bag for about 5,000 square feet of coverage.
First, we want to point out that, even though it takes a few weeks to see results, you’ll be successfully getting rid of chickweed, crabgrass, dandelion, clover, and any other types of weeds that you can’t stand!
Since this is considered a slow-release formula, it might take a little longer to see the results. Even though you won’t see immediate improvements, your lawn will be fueled with extra nutrients that it’ll absorb for a thicker and greener appearance.
What you do need to know, however, is that this product needs water to work. So, make sure you’re using this product before rain or that you’re watering the lawn shortly after application to allow the nutrients to be absorbed best.
- Kills other types of weeds too
- The slow-release formula allows for better nutrient absorption
- Helps with lawn growth and crabgrass killing
- Does take a few months to work fully
- Reapplication might be necessary for optimal results
Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control
Even though it’s last on our list, this Preen crabgrass product is still a decent solution in many cases. For every 15 pound bag you purchase, you’ll be getting about 5,000 square feet of coverage.
A lot of products on our list are great, but they either kill crabgrass that’s already there or prevent crabgrass from coming in the first place. This product is the perfect combination of both of these features.
That’s because this product can help keep crabgrass away for around four months, but can also kill crabgrass younger than four weeks old. So, there’s no need to buy two different types of crabgrass products (this one should be more than enough).
What’s even better is that this product can kill about 40 types of lawn weeds, though this isn’t nearly as many as some of the other products on our list. However, this product is known for being extremely high-quality.
- The perfect combination of preventer and killer
- Works to keep crabgrass away for 4 months
- Can kill crabgrass that’s been around for 4 weeks or less
- Also kills 40 different types of weeds
- The effects aren’t immediate, so you have to give it a little time
Other Best Selling Options
- Stops crabgrass before it invades and protects your lawn all season
- Feeds for a fast green-up after winter
- Rain, snow or freezing conditions after application won't affect product performance
- For best results, lawn should receive 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water from rainfall or watering within 2-3 days after application
- Not for use on dichondra or bentgrass lawns
- Scotts WeedEX Prevent with Halts prevents crabgrass all season long
- Stops crabgrass before it starts
- Apply in early spring for season-long prevention of crabgrass, Fall application prevents winter weeds such as poa annua, henbit and chickweed
- Effective pre-emergent control of crabgrass, foxtail, spurge, oxalis, and other grassy and broadleaf weeds
- Use on all lawn and grass types (except dichondra or bentgrass)
- 5,000 Square feet
- Dimension crabgrass control herbicide
- Can be applied up to 4 weeks later than other crabgrass preventers
- Controls crab both before & after it germinates
- Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action is a three-in-one formula that kills weeds, prevents crabgrass, and feeds grass to build thick, green lawns
- Controls existing listed lawn weeds, including dandelion, clover, dollarweed, ground ivy, chickweed, plantain, henbit, and english daisy
- Prevents crabgrass for 4 months (will not kill existing crabgrass); prevents other listed grassy weeds from invading your lawn
- For use on Bahiagrass, Centipedegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Bermudagrass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, and Zosyiagrass
- Apply to a wet lawn with a Scotts spreader, and then water in after 24 hours; apply in early spring when dandelions are actively growing; a 20 lb. bag treats 4,000 sq. ft.
- One application prevents crabgrass all season long
- Apply in spring to prevent crabgrass and problem weeds all season long
- Fall application prevents winter weeds, such as poa annua, henbit and chickweed
- Rain, snow or freezing weather after application won't affect product performance
- Apply in fall to prevent moss
Crabgrass Preventer Buyer’s Guide
As easy as it might sound to just buy some crabgrass killer or preventer and apply it to your lawn, not all crabgrass products are the same. So, we’re going to go over some key information that you need to know before making a final purchase!
Types of Grass Protected
You might not know which type of grass you currently have, but it would be a good idea to find out before using any of these products. Some only work on specific types of grass, meaning lawn death might be in your future if you pick the wrong product.
Most manufacturers clearly layout which grasses are okay to use with each product, so be vigilant. You’d hate to buy a high-quality product only to find out that it killed your beautiful lawn instead, right?
Other Weeds Prevented
A lot of crabgrass killers/preventers are actually capable of killing way more than just crabgrass. Some companies advertise their products as killing chickweed, foxtail, clover, dandelion, and other relatively common weeds.
If weeds have practically overrun your yard, you might want to lean toward a product that kills several different types of weeds. In fact, some products claim to kill hundreds! So, choose a product that highlights the weeds that are present in your lawn.
What you will want to look out for are phrases like “kills all the way down to the roots.” After all, do you want your crabgrass and other weeds gone for now or forever?
Amount of Coverage
What you’ll notice on crabgrass preventers is specific square footage. Since you’re loading this product up into your lawn spreader and spreading it all over your lawn, you want to make sure that you have enough for your whole lawn.
After all, you’d hate to have to order another batch of crabgrass preventer because you didn’t buy enough the first time, right?
So, how much do you really need? Here’s a brief look at square footage to lawn size conversions.
- 5,000 square feet = 0.11 acres
- 10,000 square feet = 0.23 acres
- 15,000 square feet = 0.34 acres
- 20,000 square feet = 0.46 acre
Just remember that you might have to reapply your crabgrass preventer in the next few months or if the crabgrass makes its way back. So, it’s better to have a little more than not enough and leave some areas of your yard left untreated.
Killer vs. Preventer
Since we went over both crabgrass preventer and crabgrass killer, we think it’s important to go over what the key differences are between these products. That way, you can make a more informed choice that’s best for your lawn!
- Killer: These products usually come in liquid form and are usually used as a spot treatment method. All you have to do is pour or spray this product onto your patches of crabgrass (or other weeds) and it should start working immediately. Too much of this product can kill your grass, so be careful about how much you use.
- Preventer: This is poured into your lawn spreader and spread across your entire lawn to keep crabgrass from eventually growing in. It’s built to kill crabgrass while keeping your grass alive. Some products infuse crabgrass preventer with actual lawn fertilizer, which can help to nourish your lawn even further.
So, if you already have crabgrass, go with crabgrass killer to get rid of it in patches. If you’ve had crabgrass in the past or just want to prevent it, go for crabgrass preventer instead.
There are some products that kill and prevent, though they’re a little less common. Not all preventers will kill crabgrass that’s already there, so be careful about which products you buy.
When you’re using heavy-duty chemicals and fertilizers on your lawn, it should come as no surprise that you might be impacting your lawn health too. Using too much herbicide can kill your grass and turn your beautiful lawn brown.
After this happens, you might be left with empty patches and bare spots. At a certain point, you’ll begin thinking to yourself, “Maybe the crabgrass wasn’t so bad.”
The reason your lawn died too was that you used a non-selective herbicide. That means the herbicide wasn’t developed to kill specific weeds or grasses, just anything in its path, including your grass.
So, it’s important that you check out the instructions on the bottle or bag to be sure that you’re using your crabgrass killer or preventer correctly. Using too much is definitely not always better, especially when it comes to chemicals.
You’ll notice quite a few ingredients that are in just about every product for crabgrass out there. Here are some of the more common ingredients and what they really do.
- 2,4-d: This is used to kill broadleaf weeds like dandelions and clovers. It’s a relatively safe chemical that isn’t too toxic and doesn’t kill your grass along with the weeds you’re trying to get rid of.
- Quinclorac: This is usually used to exterminate weeds found in rice crops, but it’s also been used on lawns too. This is the key ingredient you’re looking for if you want to get rid of crabgrass, specifically.
- Dicamba: This is what keeps the weeds gone for a long time, so it’s more of a long-term solution to your overrun yard.
As with any chemical product, you want to make sure you’re checking out the ingredients and manufacturer’s instructions. Almost all products will be harmful in a way if they’re swallowed, inhaled, or get into your eye. So, take the necessary safety precautions when handling lawn chemicals and fertilizers.
Crabgrass Preventer FAQs
Will rain wash away pre-emergent?
A lot of people think that rain will wash their pre-emergent away and make it useless, but that’s not true. Rain can actually help your crabgrass preventer to better seep into your lawn’s soil and get deep down into the roots. If it doesn’t rain after applying, water your lawn instead.
When should I apply crabgrass preventer?
Crabgrass tends to grow when temperatures are around 62 degrees, meaning you want to lay down the preventer a little before that. When temperatures are around 50-55 degrees for a few days, you’ll be ready to lay your crabgrass preventer down. You’ll want to get a few mowings in first to ensure that your grass is coming in before adding a herbicide to your lawn.
Does crabgrass killer kill grass too?
While crabgrass preventers are sometimes mixed with fertilizers to help your lawn grow quickly and beautifully, crabgrass killers are usually meant to be used as spot treatments. These products tend to kill everything in their path, including grass.
Can you just pull crabgrass out?
You can, but it’s not the best method. The first reason it won’t be too effective is that you can’t be sure that you’re pulling the entire thing out, including the roots. Herbicides remove the need for manual labor of pulling huge chunks of crabgrass out of your lawn.
What causes crabgrass?
Crabgrass is quite invasive and one seed is all it takes to overrun a lawn. Once the crabgrass begins growing, it spreads more seeds quite rapidly. Even worse is that crabgrass thrives in hot and dry conditions and is an opportunistic species, meaning it takes over any open space it can find.
Crabgrass is absolutely a nuisance, but that doesn’t mean you have to be okay with it taking over your lawn. Stop meticulously pulling out chunks of crabgrass whenever it appears and just invest in herbicides that do the work for you.
Remember, you’ll want crabgrass killer if you already have crabgrass. Just apply the liquid to the affected areas of your lawn and wait for the crabgrass to die.
On the other hand, you’ll want some crabgrass preventer if you just don’t want crabgrass on your lawn. Just spread the product over your lawn to help your lawn grow naturally without the help of crabgrass.
What’s most important, however, is making sure that you’re choosing a product that works on your type of grass. Using a product that’s not supported by your lawn’s grass type can kill your lawn or just leave the product useless.