The southern chinch bug is the most injurous pest of St. Augustine grass in Florida.  Adult chinch bugs are about 1/5 inch in length and black; the adults have white wings. Chinch bugs suck the plant juice from grass resulting in yellowish to brownish patches in the lawns.  These injured areas are often first noticed in water stressed areas along edges of lawns and in particular during dry periods.
Various caterpillars, primarily the tropical sod webworm and fall armyworm, are pests of lawn grasses in Florida.  Injury normally begins to occur in a few spots with the injured areas being only 2 or 3 feet across.  These spots enlarge, fuse, and may encompass large areas of the lawn when heavy infestations are present.  If infested grass is not allowed to suffer from lack of moisture, it can recover from a large amount of webworm feeding
Grubs are the larval (immature) stage of beetles.  They damage the grass by feeding on the roots about an inch below the soil surface.  Their feeding causes the grass to turn yellow and then brown.   The damage may first appear as spots only a few inches in diameter, but these spots will gradually become larger as feeding continues.  Heavy infestations completely destroy the roots, and the grass can be rolled back like a carpet.
Weeds can simply be defined as unwanted plants or plants growing out of place.  The first and best method of weed control begins with proper management practices which encourage a dense, thriving turf.  Proper fertilizing, watering, mowing, and other pest control measures are required to produce the desirable turf stand.  If a turf is over watered and fertilized or mowed to low or too infrequently, the turf is weakened and cannot out compete weeds.  Chemical treatment is our last choice for weed control and will be used on an individual “as needed” basis.  To learn more about why your lawn has weeds, please see our click “here”.
Pathogens (organisms that cause diseases) are commonly present in turfgrass plantings, and the climate in Florida frequently favors disease development.  Fortunately, grasses maintained by proper cultural practices (irrigating, mowing, fertilizing, etc.) are not likely to be severely damaged as are grasses not receiving proper care.  Periods of high humidity, over irrigation, rain, heavy dews or fog will favor the incidence of many of the fungal diseases of turf.
Mowing is one of the primary maintenance practices essential for a good quality lawn.  A smooth, dense turf surface is attained from frequent and regular cutting of grass leaf blades at a constant height.  Mowing turf too low probably ruins more lawns than any turf management practice.  The recommended mowing height for St. Augustine grass is 3-4 inches.  Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time and a sharp mower blade is essential.
To insure quality turf, St. Augustine needs supplemental irrigation.  Lack of properly timed irrigation can weaken the turf and predispose them to weed invasion and other pest problems. Tips:  Know how much water per hour your irrigation system applies.  Apply 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water twice per week when rainfall is insufficient.  Apply water in the early morning.  Never water at night.  Check sprinkler heads often and repair promptly.
Tawny, southern, and short-winged mole crickets are South American species that hitch-hiked to the USA in ship’s ballast.  all three became established in about 1900 at the seaport of Brunswick, Georgia.
Mole crickets damage turfgrass in several ways.  They tunnel through the soil near the surface.  this tunneling action loosens the soil so that the grass is often uprooted and dies due to desiccation of the root system.  Both species of mole crickets damage grass roots causing thinning out of the turf and, eventually, completely bare soil.
High/Low pH
Excessive salt
Excessive shade
Thatch build-up
These are all problems that can affect the quality of your turf.  Feel free to call our office at any time to receive additional information.