Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
My front yard has large patches of dead grass. Originally I thought it might be a result of grubs, but dug down and didn't see any larvae or grub worms. The condition is worsening and now I've noticed pencil-eraser size holes throughout the dry areas. Do you know what this is and how to prevent or stop it?
Rate This FAQ
I suspect the holes you see in the dry areas may be made by emerging lawn pests, such as billbug, but I'm not sure. The holes may also be from bird beaks as they forage for insects (yay, birds!) Here are some hints on how to scout and diagnose for billbugs and other lawn pests: Dig up a 6 by 6 inch square of your turfgrass, including 2 inches of soil, put it in a bucket and pull it apart, looking for any insects or larvae. Collect any/all you find. Identify the insects by referring to these USU Extension Fact Sheets:
White grubs, at
Sod webworm, at
Cranberry girdler, at
There's only one generation of billbug per year, they may be emerging as adults about now. Most of the damage is already done for the year, so if you don't find any pests in the turf sample, wait until next May to treat for the pests. Once summer cools off (highs in the 80's), you should fertilize the affected areas to promote new growth and vigor, to repair the damage. Also, be sure to check the thickness of the thatch layer in your turf. If it's thicker than one-half inch, plan to have your lawn core aerated in early fall. Aeration helps promote thatch decomposition. Thatch is a protective habitat for the billbug, so it's best to minimize it.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- Does it help to aerate in the spring and fall? Also if there is a lot of dead grass and thatch build up would it be beneficial to power rake in the spring?
- What are the best cures for fungus type lawn diseases. We've tried infrequent deeper watering, which makes it worse, higher mowing in the hotter months, airation shoes, and everthing else suggested. We know we have clay under the topsoil.
- Is it healthy for Kentucky Bluegrass to be kept at a cutting height of 2 inches if a reel mower (as opposed to a mower with rotary blades) is used?
- My vinca minor has numerous yellow leaves this year. My husband keeps dumping water on it, thinking it needs more since it is yellow and at some instances brown. Are we watering it too much, or is it missing a nutrient that needs to be added? HELP!
- I want to replace a sickly globe willow tree in my front, south-facing, sloping lawn. There are underground utility (water, gas, sewer) and irrigation lines running through the area. What trees would work best in this area?
- Do you have some advice on how to control mallow weeds? This has been an ongoing problem that even the powerful herbicides can only contain for just a few weeks. They always come back and completely overrun my garden. Any advice?
- We bought a new home with no turf established in the backyard. Do you offer any advice for putting in our own yard?
- What fall gardening tasks will help reduce plant pests next year?