Brown patch is a common fungal disease in St. Augustine grass, especially during humid weather. Lawns stressed by drought, heat and pests show higher susceptibility to brown patch. Curing this disease proves easiest in its early stages. Identify brown patch in the grass early, before it spreads throughout the lawn. Look for yellowing grass that pulls easily from the stem, in addition to brown patches. Sometimes the yellowing can even have an orange or reddish tint as well. In larger areas of infection, look for green grass in the center of brown patches.
Another common disease in North Florida is Leaf Spot and it is commonly seen in late spring to early summer in lawns that get a lot of moisture. Individual blades will have small brown spots that are usually oval and have a darker brown border. Damage from leaf spot can cause problems during the summer when the damaged areas can’t handle the hot and dry conditions and die out. Early treatment with fungicides is best.
Adult females (Moth) deposit clusters of 10 to 35 white eggs on the upper surface of grass blades. As the eggs hatch they develop into the worm itself. When the worms are actively feeding, they will construct a web on the top of the lawn. Sod webworms destroy lawns by chewing away the tissue of the grass blade. As the grass is aggressively attacked by the webworm its leaves become ragged and yellow to brownish in color. Damage is usually only to the leave blade and can recover easily during the growing season. They are mostly active during late summer and fall. Pesticide treatments are very effective for control of the webworm. This is a pest that’s covered by our lawn program.
Chinch bugs are small, winged insects. Each wing has a small, black triangle on it. While these bugs are typically around 1/8th of an inch, their size can vary up to nearly 1/4 of an inch. The most obvious sign that your lawn has been attacked by chinch bugs is your grass looks as though it is wilting. This effect will usually stop wherever there is shade, for example, as chinch bugs are particular to sunlight. The grass will be yellow as the bugs have sucked much of the juices from the grass. The patch may start in the middle of a large sunny patch of grass and spread over time. Watering is very important because chinch bugs like drought stressed lawns. Late spring pesticide applications help prevent infestations by killing off the females and their eggs. They are active mostly during the hot months of summer. Damage can be severe without treatment. This is a pest that’s covered by our lawn program.
Mole crickets are about 1.2–2.0 inches long, with small eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing. Mole crickets make tunnels in the ground, severing grass roots and causing the earth to bulge upwards. They also eat the roots and shoots of grass. Mole cricket damage looks like brown patches. Predators such as raccoons and armadillos may further dig up the turf to feed on the crickets. Mole crickets are nocturnal, which means they do their damage mostly at night. Mole crickets do the most damage from late August to early October. Pesticides are effective for control. This pest is covered by our lawn program.
Grasshoppers are medium to large insects. Adult length is 1 to 7 cm, depending on the species. Like their relatives the katydids and crickets, they have chewing mouthparts, two pairs of wings, one narrow and tough, the other wide and flexible, and long hind legs for jumping. They are different from these groups in having short antennae that don't reach very far back on their bodies.
Grasshoppers usually have large eyes, and are colored to blend into their environment, usually a combination of brown, gray or green. In some species the males have bright colors on their wings that they use to attract females. A few species eat toxic plants, and keep the toxins in their bodies for protection. They are brightly colored to warn predators that they taste bad.
Grasshoppers are most active during the day, but also feed at night. They don't have nests or territories, and some species go on long migrations to find new supplies of food.
Grasshoppers are herbivores, they eat plants. They mostly eat leaves, but also flowers, stems and seeds. Sometimes they also scavenge dead insects for extra protein.
Moles, and the tunnels they create, are often considered a garden/lawn nuisance. These small rodents have pointed snouts and tunnel underground searching for a meal of insects. While their tunnels are an annoyance to most, some people consider these tiny mammals beneficial since they feed on potentially harmful insects like mole crickets, grubs, ants, and slugs.
Characteristics of mole damage are saucer-sized mounds of dirt and holes with a 2–4 inch diameter. Damage from their tunneling can temporarily cause plant roots to be disturbed and dry out. This will cause unsightly damage to your lawn.