One of the most serious problems that a lawn can have are pests, and they are also very difficult to treat. The main lawn pests and diseases are those caused by insects or other animals such as moles or birds. Other small animals, such as slugs or snails, are also very destructive to lawns. On the other hand, grasses can also present diseases caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses or fungi.
Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about lawn pests and diseases.
Lawn pests and diseases
If we do proper lawn maintenance, such as mowing and watering it from time to time or adding fertilizer to keep it nutritious at all times, we can protect our lawn from numerous pests and diseases. Even so, it is likely that at some point some disease will develop.
The main pests that a lawn can suffer are those that usually cause the most damage, such as: white, gray or nematodes, crickets or molesalthough the list of pests can be much longer.
Slugs and snails
These molluscs can be one of the most destructive pests because, especially in summer, they emerge from roosts to feed on the stems and leaves of plants, especially grasses.
They are usually larvae of different species of beetles and can be in this stage for up to 3 years. When they are larvae they can cause damage to the lawn, and in the adult state they are harmless because they do not feed. This pest usually shows up on lawn damage in late summer and mid-spring.
The adults of the gray larvae are moths, but it is the larvae and caterpillars that damage the lawn.
This worm is another beetle larva that also feeds on roots and tubers, as well as many other foods.
The ants they are not one of the most dangerous pestsbut they can damage the lawn, especially when seeding, because they steal the seeds that are thrown to the ground to form the lawn.
Moles or voles are small rodents that feed on bulbs, roots and tubers, among other things. They are herbivores and can become very damaging pests for lawns. Additionally, they often burrow into the ground and can have devastating effects on lawns.
Turf diseases are often unusual conditions caused by certain organisms or pathogens and can be difficult to identify because the symptoms are so similar to other turf problems.
Below, we list the main lawn diseases:
It is one of the most common lawn diseases. The fungus appears to a greater extent when the temperature is high and there is humidity. Its presence is appreciated where the grass is dead, that is, yellowish or dry. To prevent these problems, control lawn watering, mowing and fertilization, but when the problem already exists, specific fungicides should be used to eliminate and combat the fungus. Various effects that these disorders can cause include:
- Very dense growth (thick grass).
- Continuous intensive use.
- High humidity or standing water.
- Covered with a layer that is too thick
- Wrong soil pH.
- Tangled grass.
- The cut is too short.
- Lawn in shaded areas.
- Loose leaves or tall grass are present in winter.
- Too much water or too much fertilizer.
Lawn fungus prevention begins with choosing the right seed mix. High-quality seeds tend to produce less fungus and are generally more resistant to disease. It is important to choose the type of grass based on the future use for not cause unnecessary damage and pain to the lawn.
Unfortunately, even in the best cut lawns, fungi can never be completely ruled out. However, most fungal lawn diseases are harmless to lawns other than their unsightly appearance.
Lawn diseases are problems that can occur in lawns and are not caused by living organisms. These illnesses can be caused by excess water, drought, poor soil qualityplanting problems, very short harvests, improper application of herbicides, dog and cat urine or tree roots.
Like all plants, lawns can be overfertilized. Excessive amounts of certain nutrients, especially mineral fertilizerscan cause the lawn to discolor and/or die. Too much fertilizer can turn your lawn dark green or even blue-green because the salt in the fertilizer “burns” the grass blades.
Frost and cold weather can cause disease, stains, and mold in lawns. To avoid this, we recommend that you prepare your lawn for winter: fertilize in August or September so that the grass is strong in the cold season; check soil pH in fall and add lime if necessary; and cut the grass to 5 cm the height of. With these simple preparations, the lawn will be ready to face the winter cold. Any discoloration will quickly fade on a well-ventilated lawn fed with organic fertilizer.
To summarize, the symptoms of turfgrass disease are easy to spot.
- With proper care, you can keep your lawn healthy, although there is always the possibility of getting sick.
- Discoloration usually indicates that the lawn needs more nutrients or that you are mowing too much.
- There are different types of fungi, but they do not pose a threat to the health of your lawn, their impact is mainly cosmetic.
- Often, watering better and fertilizing properly can help prevent fungal infections.
- Moss can be treated with regular fertilization and loosening of the soil.