How to Identify and Prevent 5 Common Lawn Diseases

how to treat lawn disease

When your lawn is suddenly hit with a disease, you might not know how or where to begin when it comes to treating it. Learn how to identify and treat the five of the most common lawn diseases: brown patch, red thread, snow mold, summer patch, and rust.

How to Identify Lawn Diseases

Brown Patch

Brown patch is characterized by the large, circular patches that appear dead or dry, typically affecting your lawn during hot and humid weather. This disease can be exacerbated by patches of wet leaves on your lawn, high humidity, and over-fertilizing your lawn.

brown patch

Red Thread

Red thread thrives in cool and humid conditions and is identified by its red and thread-like strands or blades stemming from the grass. Under-fertilizing, high humidity, poor air circulation, excess shade, large amounts of thatch, wet leaves, and compacted soil lead to red thread. If left untreated, this disease can survive for a long period of time, making it more difficult to eradicate.

Red Thread

Snow Mold

There are two types of snow mold: pink and gray. This mold generally grows underneath snow cover but can also survive in cool, wet weather without snow. Over-fertilizing, poor drainage, and excess shade are often the culprits of snow mold. It’s identified by grayish or whitish patches of crusty grass and is noticeable when the snow begins to melt in early spring. Unlike most diseases in the lawn, this one is an easy fix. Just rake it out and it should clear up on its own. 

Snow Mold

Summer Patch

As its name suggests, this lawn disease occurs in the summer, between June and September. Periods of high humidity, along with high temperatures, support the development of summer patch. Pair that with excessive soil moisture, compacted soil, poor drainage and mowing too low, and you might be in trouble! Summer patch is characterized by irregular brown patches and rings of dying, brown grass.

Summer Patch


Rust lawn disease shows through weak, thinning grasses that transform into a rust color. It frequently occurs from early summer through fall, when mild to warm temperatures arise. Drought, high humidity, extended wetness, too much shade, and under-fertilizing all contribute to this disease.



How to Treat Lawn Diseases

Although it might seem like the end of the world when a disease takes over your lawn, the good news is it can be fixed. Follow these easy steps to revive your beloved yard:

  1. Most disease is the result of high humidity and moisture content in the summer. Water your lawn in the early morning (between 4-8 AM) to allow plenty of time for it to dry during the day and prevent moisture build-up. 
  2. Avoid watering your lawn on days when rain is in the forecast. 
  3. Mow when your lawn is dry and bag the clippings to avoid spreading the disease to other sections of your lawn. 

Do your research, understand the conditions of your lawn, and put in consistent effort, and take back your lawn!

Lawnbright’s customized lawn plans will help get your lawn back on the road to recovery!

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