Common Florida Pests

Brown Patch

Brown patch is a common disease of turf grass. The first symptoms are tan or brown streaks on the leaf blades, or leaf sheaths, and stems. The turf becomes discolored in areas ranging from a few inches to several feet. Large areas or entire lawns may develop disease symptoms.

Brown patch occurs on all types of turf grasses, but is especially common on St. Augustine grass here in North-East Florida. The fungus, which causes brown patch, is favored by warm temperatures, and humid or wet weather.

To help prevent severe damage from brown patch:
1. Maintain your lawn in a healthy state by proper mowing and follow Pestology’s recommendations on other practices.
2. Do not over irrigate, and do not irrigate in the evening. Disease controls are available which can help decrease the activity of the brown patch fungus. 

Take-all Patch

Take-All patch is a disease caused by a fungus that can attack several turf grass species. Most recently, it became a major problem on St. Augustine grasses.

This disease causes turf grass roots to rot. Irregular brown areas will occur on effected turf. The stolons (runners) on St. Augustine grass will be short with leaves being bunched together. Roots will be dark, and short, with turf pulling up easily. The overall appearance is a thin, weak, turf grass with poor color.

Take-All patch is active earlier in the year, but damage is most noticeable in late summer to the fall period. Early recognition of this disease is critical to help prevent complete decline of the turf. In many cases after decline, renovating the lawn is the only option.