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3 Of The Worst Hazards For Your Lawn And How To Fight Them

Your lawn is one of the first things visitors see of your home and yard. Keeping your lawn looking lush and green takes some care and work, but it can be accomplished. Here are three of the worst hazards your lawn may encounter and how you can fight them.

Sod Webworms

If your lawn begins to show brown dead patches of lawn, it may not be from drought damage. You might be dealing with sod webworms that can spread and kill your entire lawn. Sod webworms are brown in color with dark brown and yellow spots and grow to be about one inch long. They live all across North America and begin to be a problem in the spring. 

The webworms come from eggs of a small brown moth. She can lay up to 60 eggs per night that will hatch within a week. The webworms will eat the tops of your lawn blades at night, then burrow down into your lawn thatch and spin silk web tunnels where they stay during the day.

It is easy to determine if webworms are causing the dry patches in your lawn. Mix up 2 tablespoons of liquid soap to one gallon of water and dump it across a section of dead lawn. If you have sod webworms in your lawn, they will crawl to the surface of the lawn. You can also dig into your lawn's thatch and see if you have tunnels of spun webs.

There are pesticides available specifically formulated to kill sod webworms. Since it is best to kill them while they are young worms, it's important to discover them as soon as possible so you can spray for them before they mature and build a cocoon. At this point, the cocoons will hatch in your yard, and more moths will lay even more eggs in your lawn, continuing the cycle. Before long your entire yard may be infested with these worms.

Dog Poop and Pee

If you own a dog, you might have brown spots all over your lawn. These patches of dead lawn can seem to multiply on your lawn as if your lawn has a disease. It is actually the nitrogen in your dog's poop and pee that is killing your lawn, but this damaging lawn problem can be controlled.

Because your dog's urine contains more nitrogen than your dog's poop does, you should take a couple of steps to control the problem with urine. Allow your dog to drink more water throughout the day so their urine will be more diluted and contain less nitrogen. Your dog will also be hydrated and more healthy. Then, after your dog goes out to pee on the lawn first thing in the morning, run the sprinklers immediately after. Morning pee is more concentrated with nitrogen, so a quick wash with the sprinklers will rinse it off.

Dog poop is a little easier to clean up because you can see where it is. Use a shovel and bucket lined with a garbage bag to clean up the piles of dog poop each day. Tie off the bag and dump it in the trash. This will help keep your lawn green and spot-free.

Creeping Thistle Weed

Creeping thistle is a weed that was introduced in the United States in the early 17th century and now grows all over the United States. It became such a problem the state of Vermont declared it a noxious weed in 1795.

Once creeping thistle gets established in your lawn, it reproduces by spreading its seeds and rhizomes, or root shoots. One weed can send out root shoots from its main tap root three feet underground, allowing many other weeds to sprout up every two to six inch interval. The weeds dominate in the soil, taking up nutrients, water, and sunlight which will choke out your lawn.

The best way to get rid of this weed is by digging up the entire weed with a shovel while it is young. Once it has matured, it is difficult to remove the deep root system, which leaves sections of roots that can grow new plants. Or, you can use a broad-leaved herbicide and spray the weeds. Make sure you spray the plants before they grow and disperse their seeds so you can stop them from taking over your lawn.

Take control of your lawn by looking out for and treating these three lawn hazards. For more information, contact a specialist or visit their website, such as https://californiasodcenter.com/.