No, foxtail weeds don’t come from foxes. They are only named that because of their looks.

This type of weed has a bushy seed head like a fox’s tail but can be dangerous to your pets.

Foxtail weeds are an annual grassy weed that looks similar to crabgrass. During the summer, it becomes easier to distinguish between the two. This is because when the plant matures and the seed heads form, the seed head looks similar to a mini stalk of wheat.

There are 3 types of foxtail weeds. The yellow foxtail is the most common and smallest in lawns. At the base of the leaf blade they have long hairs and none along the leaf’s sheath. Green foxtail weeds have no hairs at the base and very few running along the sheath. Giant foxtail weeds have a rounded sheath which is smooth with no hairs.

These weeds often get burrowed in pet hair or between their toes or paw pads. They work their way into the skin and because of the foxtail weed hair structure, it acts as a barbed wire. The hairs break off into the skin and can be harmful to your pet. They can cause itching, swelling, discharge, pain, abscesses and even death, if not treated.

Signs your pet may have foxtails lodged into their skin:

  1. Evidence of foxtails. Finding wheat-like stickers in your pet’s hair.
  2. Constant scratching. Skin irritation.
  3. Eye, nose, or ear irritation. Discharge, scratching, redness, and pawing at an area can indicate a problem.
  4. Constant licking of a particular area.
  5. Constant sneezing. Yes, foxtail weeds can be sniffed up by your pet.
  6. This implies there is something wrong with their paw. Check between toes and pads for stickers or foxtails.

It’s important to frequently check your pet for foxtails or any other foreign objects that can attach to their skin or fur. Once foxtails become embedded into the skin, they only go further in and can travel through your pet’s body.

Like other weed treatments, an herbicide and pre-emergent maintenance program is recommended to keep foxtails and other weeds out of your lawn. Contact Safe Earth Pest Control today. We have plans to fit all your pest control and lawn care needs. 214-321-2847