Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) - Class B noxious weed


Myrtle Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites), also called "donkey tail" or "creeping spurge," is one of Washinton’s "Class B" noxious weeds and is designated for control in Benton County.  Containment of these weeds is the primary goal so that they do not spread into un-infested areas.

Caution should be taken if you decide to remove Myrtle Spurge by hand.  Please make sure to wear gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when pulling. The weed exudes a milky sap that can severely irritate skin and eyes and is toxic if ingested.

  • Don't let children play with the weed! Wash skin and clothes after contacting it.
  • Pull myrtle spurge before it produces seed, which is viable for eight years. Pulling is more effective when the ground is moist and soft, such as after a soaking rain.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves and eye protection. Spurge contains white sap that can cause severe skin irritation, including blistering (another reason to get rid of it!).
  • Remove at least four inches of the root when pulling myrtle spurge. The weed has a taproot, so the more of this you can pull out, the more effective it will be at preventing re-growth.
  • Bag the spurge and tie or fasten the bag closed. Tell your neighbors and friends to purge their spurge too.
  • Be committed! Follow-up treatments are important. The weed will likely need to be pulled for a few years before it is completely gone.
  • Chemical treatment can be applied in the fall, use 2-4D and/or glyphosate to help control myrtle spurge – Read and follow label directions

* Please do not compost noxious weeds as this will spread the weeds to other locations.