How to Deal With Pests and Lawn Disease

Dated: January 15 2024

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How to Deal With Pests and Lawn Disease

By Rela Catucod

Imagine this: You’re about to put your home on the market or you’ve just settled into a new neighborhood, but you step outside, coffee in hand, to admire your lawn—that lush, green carpet that’s the envy of the block—and you spot it, an unsightly brown patch or the telltale signs of a pest invasion. Suddenly, your lawn isn’t just grass; it’s a key player in your home’s curb appeal and, by extension, its market value. 

In the ever-changing North Carolina climate, even the most well-cared-for lawns can succumb to pests and diseases. But with the right knowledge and tools, you can keep your lawn looking its best, ensuring it’s not just a patch of grass, but a cornerstone of your home’s charm.

Understanding Your Lawn’s Ecosystem


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To keep your lawn in top shape, you need to understand the world beneath its blades. North Carolina’s lawns, often full of tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, or perennial ryegrass, come with their own set of needs and quirks. Like any good relationship, it’s about understanding and meeting these needs.Take some time to identify your turfgrass, its watering needs, recommended mowing height, and common pests and diseases. 

The local climate also plays a big role. From the balmy coast to the breezy mountains, North Carolina’s weather is as varied as a buffet at a Southern potluck. This diversity affects everything from grass growth to the types of pests and diseases your lawn might encounter. Knowing your region’s specific challenges is the first step in crafting a tailored lawn care strategy.

Identifying and Tackling Lawn Pests

Now, let’s talk about uninvited guests—and we don’t mean your in-laws. In our neck of the woods, grubs and chinch bugs are about as welcome as a thunderstorm at a barbecue. These critters can turn your lawn into their dining room, leaving behind a mess of brown, patchy grass.

Spotting these troublemakers early is key. Keep an eye out for irregular patches of discolored grass or increased bird activity—a sign that your lawn might be hosting a grub buffet. When it comes to showing pests the door, think beyond harsh chemicals, turning to those as a last resort. 

Beneficial nematodes, for example, are nature’s way of keeping the grub population in check. And remember, a healthy lawn is your best defense. Proper watering, mowing, and fertilization are your Neighborhood Watch for pests.

Recognizing and Managing Lawn Diseases


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If lawn pests are the thieves in the night, lawn diseases are the silent assassins. Brown patch and dollar spot love to crash the party, especially when the weather in North Carolina decides to turn up the humidity. These diseases can be stealthy, leaving you with patches of grass that look more like a bad hair day than a lush lawn.

Catching these diseases early requires a detective’s eye. Look for unusual patterns or discolorations in your grass, and consider recent weather conditions, watching for increased heat and humidity. 

With treatments, think of fungicides as your lawn’s bodyguards, but use them wisely and according to their labels to avoid resistance. For prevention, good lawn hygiene is the key. This includes proper aeration, balanced fertilization, and ensuring your lawn isn’t holding onto more water than a camel in the desert.

Tips to Prevent Lawn Pests and Diseases

One of the best strategies to manage your lawn and keep pests and diseases at bay is to embrace Integrated Pest Management (IPM). With IPM, you’re not just fighting pests and diseases; you’re outsmarting them. 

IPM focuses on prevention, being proactive, and using the least invasive methods first. Here are some ways you can implement IPM in your lawn care routine:

Tidy Up

Pests love a messy yard. Keep your lawn free of debris, fallen fruits, and leave. Fix leaky faucets and ensure your yard drains well to avoid giving pests the water sources they crave. Additionally, modify your lawn’s environment to deter pests. Mow regularly, reduce shady areas, and remove overgrown vegetation. 

Choose Pest-Resistant Varieties


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Opt for grass and plants that are known to be tough against local pests and diseases. It’s like choosing a superhero team for your lawn—each member has their strengths. North Carolina native plants are great low-maintenance landscaping options.  

Set Up Barriers

It’s all about keeping the pests out. Seal cracks in your home, use fences or nets to protect your garden, and set boundaries against nature’s little intruders.

Use Biological Control

Introduce natural predators like ladybugs or beneficial nematodes to control pests. It’s like having a pest control army, only natural and eco-friendly. You can also invite local birds into your landscape by providing food and nesting resources. 

Practice Proper Lawn Care

Maintain your lawn year-round with proper mowing, watering, and aeration. A well-maintained lawn is your best defense against pests and diseases. It also increases your home’s curb appeal and selling price. 

Secure Expert Lawn Care for Your Home

At times, even the most dedicated efforts can’t keep lawn troubles at bay. Whether you’re grappling with relentless pests, widespread lawn disease, or simply find the complexity of lawn care daunting, seeking expert assistance is a wise move. 

A well-maintained lawn enhances your property’s value but also reflects the care you invest in your home. Whether you’re updating your lawn for personal enjoyment or as part of home improvements, effective lawn care is an ongoing commitment. 

When it’s time to navigate the real estate market, whether buying or selling, Leigh Brown & Associates are ready to handle the details, allowing you to focus on enjoying your beautiful outdoor space.

Rela is passionate about green spaces and sustainable living. She writes to inspire readers to discover their green thumb and shares eco-friendly lawn care insights.

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Leigh Brown

I stepped into the real estate world in 2000, joining forces with my father (Darrell Thomas) who had a successful residential real estate company. As a native of Cabarrus County, I have a thorough und....

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