Couch grass

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Charles T. Bryson, USDA ARS,
Is this a Minor Pest?
Minor Pest Title

Couch grass or Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon)

Minor Pest Description

It is a spreading perennial grass with vigorous mat-forming stolons. It reproduces and spreads mostly by means of rhizomes but also propagates by seed. This grass is considered as one of the most important weeds in the world. It is present in virtually every tropical and subtropical country and in virtually every crop in those countries. Couch grass and other species of Cynodon are common in East Africa, and some species are occasionally troublesome as a weed of arable land and perennial crops.

Couch grass is reported in Ghana as a problem in crops such as eggplant, okra, onion, peppers and tomato.


Minor Pest What to do.
  • Where couch grass is a problem, control it before planting maize, as it will not be possible to grow a profitable maize crop in a couch dominated field.
  • Harrow with a tooth harrow during the dry season in order to uproot the rhizomes and letting them dry completely on top of the soil. If possible, collect and burn dry rhizomes. Burning them will increase the success of couch control.

    The same tooth harrow can be used to sweep the dry rhizomes together in bands on the field which can then be burned on site or collected and used for fuel elsewhere (farmer experience).

  • Introduce shade producing cover crops, within a crop rotational system.
Minor Pest Position
Minor Pest Firstcontent
Pest Type
Common names; Bermuda grass, Bahama grass, Common star grass, Dhub grass, Devil grass
Host Plants