Turfgrass Maintenance Insect Pests and Diseases

Properly identifying the disease or pest in your lawn is extremely vital in the treatment plan. Misdiagnosing a problem can cost you money and could be detrimental to your landscape, the environment and even you. Some disease and insect damages can appear similar, so “know it before you treat it.” When applying chemicals to your lawn and landscape, is it important to follow the label for safety protocols and application rates. Follow these closely for your safety. There are numerous resources within AgriLife that are there to help!  Below is a list of the most common lawn pests and diseases in North Texas.

Insect Pests

Chinch bugs

Chinch Bugs are small hard bodied winged insects which usually cause patches of damage (primarily in St. Augustine lawns.) Chich bug damage often mimics drought stress and commonly occurs in late spring and summer.

Grub

Grubs are most often the larvae of the Japanese beetle, but other grubs may be present as well. Some can be pests in turfgrass, feeding on the root area which can cause brown spots in the turf.

Army worm

Army Worms are species of moth larvae that infest warm season turfgrass, stripping foliage in large numbers. They are commonly seen in summer and early fall in North Texas.

Scale

Scale forms small cottony or waxy white masses at  the  base,  stem  and leaf axis. Damage can mimic symptoms of drought or nutrient deficiency.

Diseases

Brown patch

Brown Patch is a disease that affects lawns in early fall or spring. It is a fungal problem causing circular or irregular, thin or light brown spots in your turfgrass. Brown patch is especially problematic when lawns are over watered or over fertilized.

Take all patch

Take-all Patch is a fungus most active in cooler temperatures under moist conditions. Symptoms appear as yellowing leaves and thin roots when temperatures rise in spring or summer.

Gray leaf spot

Gray Leaf Spot is mostly a nuisance disease in North Texas and usually does cause thinning of turfgrass.  Fungicide   applications are not recommended to control this disease in North Texas.

Insect Pest Assistance

For more help identifying pests in your lawn or landscape visit the Aggie Turf website.

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