Guide to Pest and Disease Management in your Lawn

Pest Management

If there are pest problems on the lawn, lawn management will help reduce pest problems. Common lawn pests in Australia include:

  • African Black Beetle
  • Lawn Grub, Lawn Army worm
  • Couch Mite
  • Mealybug

Pesticides / Insecticides are an effective way to control insects when pest populations are high enough to cause lawn decline. The goal will be to properly identify the pest problem in the early stages; determine if the pest population would significantly alter lawn function; and develop a plan to reduce the pest population.

Sub-surface feeding insects are of major concern because they feed on roots, causing significant damage to your lawn. Insecticides can give a quick kill once you know where and when a pest is present. Insecticide application can be undertaken following an accurate diagnosis.

When pest control is needed;

  • identify the pest problem,
  • select the chemical recommended to control the pest,
  • be sure the lawn will tolerate the chemical, and
  • apply the chemical according to label recommendations.
Use LawnPride pest identification.

    Have the pest treated curatively once it has been observed; then preventively to ensure control. If you have had prior outbreaks this is good reason to suspect a recurrence, and a proactive regime should be implemented.

    Disease Management

    Specific lawn diseases can usually be managed with fungicides and cultural practices such as mowing, watering, and fertilising. However, once disease pressure builds with one disease, often other diseases take advantage of the weaken state of the lawn, and also become a problem.

    With the challenge of multiple diseases affecting the lawn, the treatment will often have to be adjusted to counter all disease issues. In such situations, LawnPride recommends the use of Tombstone Duo, a fungicide registered for the control of 9 common turf diseases, including foliar and root pathogens. Containing two strong active ingredients for turf, Tombstone Duo has differing modes of action, meaning you will be able to control a number of diseases and be less likely to see resistance build up.

    Accurate disease identification is essential when managing plant protection issues, as is an understanding of the disease and how environmental, cultural factors affect their occurrence. Once the disease has been identified, control programs can be implemented using fungicides to limit future problems for your lawn.

    Common diseases in Australian lawns include:

    • Brown Patch
    • Black Helmo
    • Curvularia
    • Dollar Spot
    • ERI (Ectotrophic Root Infecting Fungi)
    • Winter Fusarium
    Use LawnPride disease identification

      When disease control is needed, have an experienced person;

      • help identify the pest problem,
      • select the chemical recommended to control the pest,
      • be sure the lawn will tolerate the chemical, and
      • apply the chemical according to label recommendations.

      Using Fungicides might seem like the most effective method for controlling disease, but a healthy lawn is your best defence to preventing disease from damaging your lawn.

      Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

      Apply a controlled release lawn fertiliser: Your turf needs nutrients to grow well, and a professional turf fertiliser releases the nutrition over an extended period of time basically spoon feeding your lawn and avoiding flushes of extreme growth.

      Remove thatch: Thatch is the layer of living and dead organic material that accumulates between the soil surface and turf blades. A thick thatch layer can invite pests and diseases.

      Relieve compacted soil: Your lawn will struggle to absorb oxygen, water, and nutrients if its soil is compacted. Relieve compacted soil with core aeration.

      Water the right way: Watering less often and for long periods encourages a deep, healthy root system. Watering too often and for short periods encourages a shallow, weak root system. The best time to water the lawn is before 9 am in Australia. Avoid watering in the evenings and having water pooling on your lawn.

      Ensure adequate drainage: Lawn areas that do not drain properly quickly become waterlogged, and that means the less oxygen in the soil. This results in your lawn being unable to breathe properly, which left untreated can cause issues such as disease and a decline in the health of your lawn.

      Mow the right way: When your lawn is too long and thick, disease can move in and damage your lawn. Mow regularly and ensure you maximise sunlight onto all areas of your lawn by removing excess debris and trimming back surrounding trees and shrubs.