The cause of turf grass damage is often difficult to determine if considerable time has elapsed between damage and diagnosis. Damage is often blamed on disease or insects when there is no sound basis for such a diagnosis. A careful diagnosis involves analysis of climatic and environmental conditions, along with the management program followed. It is important to know what fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, or herbicides have been applied, the amounts used, and the time and method of application.
It may surprise you to learn this, but humans cause more problems to turf than all the diseases and insects combined. For example, walking, running, sports, horses, dogs, and bicycles all cause wear to turf. When turf is worn, it becomes weak and more susceptible to disease and other forms of damage. When turf damage is noticed and before applying pesticides, make sure it is caused by insects and not diseases. Be sure to examine an area of turf that contains living as well as damaged grass. The most serious insects of turf feed on living turf and are not found in dead areas. Insects found in completely dead patches generally are not responsible for the damage.
If the turf looks damaged, wilted, and water-starved, then an insect may be involved. Turf problems make us dig for clues and work hard for our answers. There are some steps we can take to narrow the field of problems that might be causing an unhealthy lawn. First, try to determine if the problem is living (biotic) or nonliving (abiotic). Biotic problems include disease, insects or weed infestations. Like insect damage turf disease can be difficult to identify. Turf diseases have another thing in common with insect invasions. Both are usually the result of an unhealthy lawn. Diagnosing turf diseases takes a lot of practice and a good eye for color and patterns. Once you know what to look for you’ll be able to narrow down the diseases species and focus on a just a few different species that fit the description of your problem.
Most turf diseases are caused by an imbalance or reaction in the natural fungi population present in all fine turf. For the most part, fungi do not cause disease. In fact, for most of their life fungi helps degrade thatch. Fungi only cause disease in turf when two events occur; the weather is conducive to disease and when plants are susceptible to infection.
If you think you have insects or disease killing your lawn, call, 239-455-4300, for an explanation to what we can do to help you rebuild your lawn or look us up on our web site at collierpestcontrol.com. Remember Florida does not have to be shared with insects.