Preventing Lawn Pests: Fungal Edition

Preventing Lawn Pests: Fungal Edition

Labor Day is upon us, which means there are only a few weeks left to work on your lawn before the weather turns. Whether this makes you happy or sad, there’s one thing that everyone should be concerned with – getting their lawns in the best shape possible in the time that’s left. If you’ve noticed some weird things happening in your lawn lately, you better solve that mystery quick. If you have a lawn pest, it needs to be dealt with now. Here’s how you can identify some of the most common fungal lawn pests.

How Your Lawn Becomes Vulnerable

There are many reasons why your lawn is vulnerable to an infestation. The most common reasons include:

  • Excess nutrients
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Restricted air movement
  • Poor drainage
  • Incorrect pH of the soil

Remember, prevention is always going to be better than curing an infestation, so take steps to ensure your lawn stays healthy and well-fed (but not too well-fed) to prevent the pests from moving in.

You should make sure to keep your lawn mowed regularly. Ovid high nitrogen feeding in the fall too, since that encourages rust, snow mold, or other fungal diseases to take hold in the winter.

Pest No. 1: Slime Mold

Slime mold is most commonly found in the late summer and fall. It doesn’t actually harm the grass, but it does look pretty gross as white, slimy spores grow on the grass blades. It’s a fungus, so it can really take over. You can spray your lawn with water to remove them from the grass blades, but you can prevent it from happening altogether by aerating regularly and scarifying your lawn.

Pest No. 2: Red Thread

This is one of the most common lawn diseases; red thread causes your lawn to have a red tinge, which eventually leads to browning, dying grass. It’s most often the cause of a nitrogen deficiency, so if you can feed the lawn with ammonium sulfate as soon as you notice the first symptoms; that will probably help.

Wet summers and falls usually cause this lawn pest to thrive, so make sure to help improve the air circulation in your lawn with scarifying and aerating to prevent it.

Pest No. 3: Rust

This is a disease that can spread through your lawn like wildfire, so make sure to keep an eye out for it. It creates yellow patches on the lawn that, at closer inspection, look like small, orange pustules on individual blades of grass.

There’s no chemical solution to this pest, but you can help to prevent it through regular mowing. Avoid using any type of high nitrogen fertilizers in the fall. Tall, lanky grass is more susceptible to rust than short, trimmed grass.

Pest No. 4: Snow Mold

This is most commonly seen in the fall or winter and manifests itself as brown or yellow patches on the lawn. You may even notice something on your lawn that looks like cobwebs, sometimes with a pinkish tint. Snow mold can spread rapidly and wreak major havoc on your lawn. Help to reduce the risk by avoiding high nitrogen feeding in the fall and making sure to scarify your lawn.

Only you can prevent fungal lawn pests from taking hold in your lawn. If you need help with prevention or treating an existing problem, don’t forget the pros at Lawn Love can help!

Sara Butler

Sara Butler has written scores of articles for Lawn Love -- everything from how to revive your dead lawn to how to start to lawn care tools every homeowner should have.