One of the most serious problems a lawn can have are pests, and they are also very difficult to deal with. 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 exhibit 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 once in a while or adding fertilizer to keep it nutritious at all times, we can protect our lawn from many pests and diseases. Even so, it is likely that at some point a disease will develop.
The main pests that can affect a lawn are those that usually cause the most damage, such as: white, gray or nematodes, crickets or molesalthough the list of pests could be much longer.
slugs and snails
These snails 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 beetle species and can remain in this stage for up to 3 years. When they are larvae, they can damage the lawn and in the adult state, they are harmless because they do not feed. This pest usually appears 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 among the most dangerous pestsbut they can damage the lawn, especially during seeding, as they steal the seeds which are thrown to the ground to form the lawn.
Moles or voles are small rodents that feed, among other things, on bulbs, roots and tubers. They are herbivores and can become very damaging lawn pests. 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.
Two types of diseases can occur in lawns: some are caused by organisms such as fungi, bacteria or viruses, and others are purely physiological diseases caused by external factors such as pests.
Below we list the main lawn diseases:
It is one of the most common lawn diseases. The fungus appears more 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 the watering, mowing and fertilizing of the lawn, but when the problem already exists, specific fungicides must be used to eliminate and combat the fungus. The various effects these disorders can cause include:
- Very dense growth (thick grass).
- Continuous intensive use.
- High humidity or standing water.
- Covered with too thick a layer
- Bad soil pH.
- Tangled grass.
- The cut is too short.
- Lawn in shaded areas.
- Loose leaves or tall grasses are present in winter.
- Too much water or too much fertilizer.
Lawn fungus prevention starts with choosing the right seed mix. High quality seeds tend to produce less fungus and are generally more disease resistant. It is important to choose the type of grass according to the future use for do not cause unnecessary damage and pain to the lawn.
Unfortunately, even in the best mowed lawns, fungus can never be completely excluded. However, most lawn fungal 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 diseases can be caused by excess water, drought, poor soil qualityplanting problems, very short harvests, incorrect application of herbicides, dog and cat urine or tree roots.
Like all plants, lawns can be over-fertilized. Excessive amounts of certain nutrients, especially mineral fertilizersmay cause lawn discoloration and/or death. Too much fertilizer can turn your lawn dark green or even blue-green because the salt in the fertilizer “burns” the blades of grass.
Frost and cold can cause disease, stains and mold on lawns. To avoid this, we advise you to prepare your lawn for winter: fertilize in August or September so that the grass is strong in the cold season; check the pH of the soil in the fall and add lime if necessary; and cut the grass to 5 cm in height. With these simple preparations, the lawn will be ready to face the winter cold. Any discoloration will fade quickly on a well-aerated lawn fed with organic fertilizer.
In summary, the symptoms of turf 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, better watering and fertilizing properly can help prevent fungal infections.
- Moss can be dealt with with regular fertilizing and loosening the soil.
As you can see, lawn maintenance is essential if we don’t want pests and diseases to destroy it. Hopefully with this information you can learn more about lawn pests and diseases.