Common Lawn Pests, Problems, and Solutions in CT
Connecticut has a unique set of lawn pests and problems that property owners and managers may run into. These include insects, disease, and environmental conditions. The list below contains some of the things we run into most often in New Haven and Eastern Fairfield county.
Soil Nutrient deficiencies
Many turf and lawn related issues can be drastically improved by modifying the soil to have the right balance of nutrients and PH for the grass species that are most commonly used in CT. A fertilization program based on a comprehensive soil analysis can help to make grass species more resistant to insects, disease, and environmental stresses such as drought. When grass begins to increase in density due to proper soil nutrients it can also make it difficult for many types of weeds to thrive. Proper nutrient and PH balance is the first step to a healthy lawn.
White grubs are the larval stage of a number of beetles including the introduced Japanese Beetle and the native northern masked chafer beetle. The beetles lay their eggs in the grass in mid summer and the larvae feed on grass roots during the late summer, fall and spring. A white grub infestation may present itself as dead patches in the lawn which annually grow worse and eventually encompass large areas of the lawn. If you notice extra attention from skunks, birds, and moles digging in the lawn it may be a sign of a white grub infestation since these animals feed on white grubs. Reliable treatment options are available but timing and product choice depend on the severity of the white grub infestation.
Red Thread is a turf fungus that produces red fungal strands which make identification of this fungus relatively easy. Red thread develops in early or late summer and may be more likely in conditions of stress, drought or low soil nutrients. As the fungus spreads it weakens and eventually kills patches of lawn. Treatment options include fungicide and proper fertilization based on soil diagnosis results.
Brown Patch and other lawn diseases
There are a number of lawn diseases that cause brown patches and die off in lawns. Brown Patch is one of the more common and damaging if left untreated. Diseases with these symptoms are difficult to distinguish from one another and may need to be inspected by a professional. Brown patch may be more likely to establish itself if lawns are over fertilized, watered too much, or at the wrong time, or ph is too low.
Crabgrass and other Weeds
Weeds can be unsightly in a lawn and ruin the desired aesthetic. The amount of tolerable weeds depends on the intended use of the area. Meadow-like areas may require minimal or no weed control, home lawns on the other hand may require extensive attention to weed prevention and elimination if desired. There are many products used to control different weeds at different stages. Crabgrass usually requires a dedicated application of preventative or early contact herbicide because its timing and the fact that its a type of grass exclude it from being controlled by other herbicides. Many Weeds can be control by selective herbicides which kill undesirable weeds but don’t damage desirable plants.