Weapons and Tactics

Goathead warriors utilize four essential weapons to attack goatheads:

pull them up with a shovel


A shovel is our most effective hand-to-hand combat weapon for killing and removing goatheads. A shovel blade can sever the goathead plant’s tap root and kills the plant immediately. While any shovel can work, a normal garden shovel with a rounded blade is a preferred weapon.

Use good quality gloves

Heavy Gloves

Goathead thorns can shred hands and easily puncture through normal gardening gloves. Thicker cowhide gloves (available for about $3 at Lowes, Stans or Home Depot) allow handling the thorns while preventing any penetration through the glove. Warriors will be issued heavy duty gloves before going into battle. 

Good quality bags

3 Mil Garbage Bag

When a goathead plant is killed via a shovel or herbicides, any attached seeds are still alive and can sprout new plants in the future. Picking up and removing the dead plant is essential. 42-gallon garbage bags are easy to carry and can hold a large volume of dead plants. The thorns will quickly poke through regular garbage bags. Their protruding spikes both rip the bag and can tear at a goathead warrior’s legs. Heavy Duty contractor bags (3 millimeters in thickness) are thick enough to resist any punctures or tearing. Warriors will be issued heavy duty bags before going into battle.


Hard Sole Footwear

Goathead thorns stick to soft shoe bottoms as readily as bike tires. Walking through a goathead infested area with soft sole shoes leaves a miserable job of removing the thorns and risks inadvertently spreading seeds on the bottom on your shoes. (picture of shoe with goathead thorns). Footwear (a shoe or boot) with a harder sole is far more resistant to goathead thorns. Warriors should test different shoes/boots to find a pair that is comfortable for walking but generally resists thorns.