How Can I Stop Brown Spots On My Lawn?
It seems like our lawns would thrive here in Florida’s subtropical environment. But many homeowners struggle to keep their lawns maintained for numerous reasons. One common occurrence threatening Florida lawns every spring is the dreaded brown spot. Brown spots are caused by a variety of reasons, complicating the treatment process. You shouldn’t be applying any chemicals to brown spots until you understand what’s causing the issue.
Besides insects, Florida lawns can be affected by diseases like dollar spot, large patch, and root rot. That’s why it can be tough to find the correct solution to those annoying brown spots.We’ve created this short guide for Florida homeowners featuring some of the most common causes and solutions for brown spots in your yard.
Pests
Chinch Bugs
Chinch bugs are common in Florida lawns with St. Augustine or fescue. Chinch bugs are blade feeders meaning they damage the grass by eating the actual blades themselves. Chinch bugs cause wilting and the eventual death of grass by eating and poisoning the grass. When not properly maintained, chinch bugs can get out of hand quickly.
Sod Webworms/Armyworms
Both sod webworms and armyworms can cause large brown spots in Florida lawns. These caterpillars will feed on grass blades in the early mornings and late evenings, eating away at the outer layer of the grass blades. Mature caterpillars can be between 3/4 and 1.5 inches long. If you suspect you have army or webworms, give us a call, we can help identify the type of worm and recommend a treatment plan.
Grubs
Grubs make their attack underground, eating roots and destroying your grass. Most grubs are white and can vary in size depending on their life cycle. If left untreated, grubs will destroy every type of organic material available, so it’s crucial to act quickly.
Diseases
Excessive irrigation, high humidity, and heavy rainfall encourage fungal growth in grasses. Ensuring your lawn avoids these conditions can often prevent some diseases below.
Large Patch
Rhizoctonia Blight appears in three varieties, large patch, brown patch, and yellow patch. Here in Florida, we commonly see large patch disease affecting bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and kikuyugrass. Large patch disease affects warm-season grasses and typically appears first in the fall as a light green spot on your lawn. As the grass enters spring, it will start turning brown.
Dollar Spot
Often first appearing in late spring, Dollar Spot earns its name due to the small silver dollar-sized brown spots they create in your lawn. We often find Dollar Spot in yards that are under-fertilized. When left unaddressed, the patches can reach a diameter of six inches or more.
Take-All Root Rot
Take-All Root Rot usually appears in late spring and loves Florida’s hot, humid environment. Root Rot destroys lawns by creating large yellow patches before wilting the grass. Take-All Root Rot appears in St. Augustinegrass and bermudagrass in Florida.
When to call the experts?
As we’ve mentioned already, it can be challenging to diagnose the cause of a brown patch in your lawn. Improper treatment of impacted areas can sometimes increase the size or severity of the brown spot. We highly recommend getting an expert to review any areas of concern before planning a course of action.At Colonial Pest Services, we make it easy to control grubs, chinch bugs, webworms, armyworms, and fire ants. Our complete lawn pest program helps take the guessing out of proper pest management.

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