In the yard, the tall seed stalks, easily recognized by the V-shaped 2-3" black seed heads on top of a 2' stem, pop up just a few days after mowing. To make matters worse, the stems are so tough that they will dull a lawnmower blade and reduce your mower's efficiency. Even without considering the unsightliness of the seed heads, the rhizomes and lower leaves of Bahia presents a less desirable texture and feel in a lawn setting. It is important to note that while it can be well restrained, complete and permanent eradication of Bahiagrass is not possible. This is due to the sheer number of seeds that remain viable in the soil for years, and the tenacity of the Bahiagrass root system.
In livestock grazing pastures, the stalks mature quickly, thereby offering a lower nutritive value and palatability than common and improved Bermuda grasses. The key differences between Bermuda grass and Bahia grass in pasture are illustrated in the photo below. This is a Kenney-area beef cattle pasture in August 2014. The left section was sprayed with MSM Turf herbicide earlier in the growing season, which very effectively killed out the Bahia grass. The right side is where the land manager did not spray MSM Turf. You can see that the healthy stand of Bahia grass on the right has crowded out most of the weeds, whereas on the left the Bermuda has allowed a few wooly croton(aka goat weed) and others to pop up. However, as you can tell by the color and height, the Bahia section is more mature and less nutritive, while the Bermuda side is more lush and preferred by the cattle. Taking all of this into account, one could certainly make a reasonable argument for or against Bahia in the pasture setting.
Ready to rid yourself, or your grass at least, of Bahia? For small lawn applications, we have Martin's Top Shot, with the same active ingredient as MSM Turf, in a (2)1.8 ml blister pack which mixes with up to 2 gallons of water to cover 5,000 sq. ft. for under $10. We have QualPro's MSM Turf available in 2 oz (covers 4-8 acres) and 8 oz (covers 16-32 acres), when used at a rate of .25-.5 oz per acre. If you'd like a herbicide which will have more residual control, we would recommend a product such as Dow's Chaparral. None of these herbicides require a license for purchase. With these or any other herbicide, for best results use a good quality surfactant to ensure best leaf absorbency. For more information on Bahiagrass, pasture management and lawn care, visit the sites below and come see us!
Clemson Cooperative Extension: Bahiagrass
Smith County Agrilife: East Texas' Love/Hate Relationship with Bahiagrass