May 8, 2023

Every homeowner wants to keep their lawn looking healthy and green, and Twin Oaks Landscape has recently put together an eBook about common turf diseases and issues. Homeowners will be able to refer to the ebook to identify any issues they may be having, and will know when it’s time to contact the professionals at Twin Oaks Landscape to keep their lawn healthy and thriving.

turf issues in bold block text over grass background

Diseases that Can Impact Your Turf

Many of the topics discussed in our eBook refer to diseases you may see in your lawn. Each section will explain in more detail the signs of the disease, the potential causes, and what you can do to remedy each issue to avoid further damage. The turf diseases discussed include:

  • Dollar Spot

Dollar spot is a fungus characterized by round, bleached-out or straw-colored spots. Warm, humid daytime weather followed by cool nights with heavy dews can cause dollar spot to appear in your turf.

  • Melting Out

Melting out is similar to dollar spot, but is a cool-weather disease. Black or purple spots may begin to appear, and the turf will appear blackish-brown from a distance.

  • Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is seen as white patches on leaf blades. As it spreads, the whole leaf will appear to turn white. This disease is typically seen in shady areas.

  • Rust

Rust diseases can make the turf appear orange or yellow. If the infection is allowed to spread, the turf can die from a loss of moisture in the rusted leaves.

  • Red Thread

Red thread thrives in high humidity and the disease can spread from plant to plant. You will notice red or pink fungal strands in the turf.

  • Gray Snow Mold

This mold is an issue in northern climates, where snow cover remains for extended periods during the winter. If snow falls on unfrozen turf, the damage can be worse.


Insects can always be a challenge to keeping turf and plants healthy.  These insects, particularly in their larval stage, will eat the roots and stems of healthy turf.

  • Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are often a problem in non-irrigated turf. Thatch or sunny areas of lawn are more at risk. The damage often resembles drought stress, but will not recover after a rain.

  • European Chafer

European chafers do not feed as adults, and are often missed by homeowners due to their nocturnal nature. Once the larvae hatch, they feed on the roots of turf and will not stop until the ground freezes.

  • Japanese Beetle

Japanese beetles are well known in the landscaping community as a destructive species who feed on many trees, shrubs, and flowers, causing serious damage to roots and stems.

  • Sod Webworm

The sod webworm is a problem only when the numbers are very high. They appear as silvery or cream colored moths that will fly over lawns in the summer.

  • Cutworm

Damage from these non-descript brown or gray moths can occur at different times throughout the summer.

  • Cranefly

Adult craneflies resemble giant mosquitoes and will usually begin to fly in August. Not all cranefly species are destructive, but the European cranefly will lay eggs in late summer and the larvae will feed on the turf roots in September, returning in the spring.

  • Billbug

The larval stage of billbugs is the one that will cause damage, as the larvae will feed on the stems of turf.

Other Issues

Although diseases and insects are the main issues that can cause turf problems, there are a few other things to watch out for. If you have pets, dog urine can have the same chemical content used in fertilizer, particularly nitrogen. Too much nitrogen will burn turf and kill it. Older and dehydrated dogs tend to have higher concentrations of nitrogen and, after letting your dogs outside, you may find spots of dead brown grass surrounded by darker green areas. Other critters we don’t keep as pets, such as skunks and raccoons, can also harm turf by digging up areas to find grubs. Fairy ring fungi are often found in sandy soils and can be accompanied by mushroom growth.

By consulting our Turf Disease eBook, you can know which issues are impacting your turf, and you can know exactly which issue you will need to deal with to keep your lawn healthy and thriving. To learn more about how we can help keep your lawn looking amazing all year, contact Twin Oaks Landscape today.