This annual weed is particularly aggressive: not only does it produce large quantities of seed, it also sets seed within just a few weeks of germination. It grows from a shallow taproot and forms a low mat of branching stems that exude a milky juice when cut.
Hoe or pull young seedlings early in the season, before they bloom and set seed. A vigorous, well-fertilized lawn competes well against spotted spurge. If chemical control is necessary, use a pre-emergence product containing isoxaben, oryzalin, or pendimethalin on lawn grasses and around ornamentals. Spot -streat spurge plants with herbicidal soap when they are young. For spurge growing in cracks in pavement, apply a product containing glufosinate-ammonium or glyphosate, taking care to avoid contact with desirable plants.