Here in Central Florida we have a number of insect pests that attack our lawns, which include: fire ants, grubs, mole crickets, chinch bugs, fall army worms, and tropical sod web worms. If you see any areas where the lawn looks like it’s dying out – you may be encountering one of these pests. To verify their presence – take a gallon jug of water and add 2 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent. Shake this mixture up and pour around the edge of the spot. Within a minute – if any insects are present, they will come to the surface. IFAS Bulletin ENY300 will help you to identify the problem and offer suggestions for treatment. Treat as soon as you can as the dying out areas will only get larger. If you see small moths flying close to the lawn in early evening, it is possibly sod web worms. They are present now as are chinch bugs.
You might ask – “If I treat the dying out area, as suggested, but see no pests. Then what?”. Consider other causes, such as disease, a fertilizer spill, spilled gas or other liquid. If you suspect a disease, check out IFAS bulletin SS-PLP-1 to identify the disease. However, most turf diseases occur during late winter to early spring.
As with all pesticides – be safe, read the label and apply correctly.
In closing, I’d like to encourage you to visit the Extension Service with any plant problems you might have. Also check out the IFAS website at solutionsforyourlife.com. Click on the A-Z Index under the Lawn and Garden section. You’ll be amazed at the wealth of information what you can find there.