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Old 06-07-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
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Lawn is being destroyed


I wanted to see if anyone has seen something like this before. We just bought a house about a year ago. Previous owners let everything go for probably a year before they moved. The grass is a form of St. Augustine. We have ZERO experience with yard work. This is our first house.

The yard started to look like this:


Then this:


And eventually this:


It's unlike anything I've ever seen.

We put down triazicide for bugs around the time we saw the 1st picture. We watered the yard daily after that. Once the 2nd picture happened weeds took over. We sprayed for weeds. Then when the weeds died the last picture happened. We currently have new spots like the first picture popping up and getting worse by the day despite watering. We have not put down any more weed killer or bug killer.

Of course all of our neighbors have never seen this before. One neighbor thinks the weed killer we put down just killed all the weeds and took the Augustine with it. Another thinks we have a lawn fungus. Another said it didn't look like bugs. I personally thought we had a chinch bug outbreak as the damage has started around our driveway on both sides and in the grass next to the road. Since taking these pictures we've had bermuda grass sprout up in the bare spots and it's just as green as could be.


Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!


Last edited by jayleekay; 06-07-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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I'm going to bump this thread ---there are several members who know grass and the problems---Mike---

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Old 06-07-2012, 06:20 PM   #3
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Lawn is being destroyed


Can we get some pictures that are not so close up, or zoomed in, especially that the size of the pictures have blown out the margins on my browser. Really need a shot looking from the house towards the back, or from a distance to where the poor spots are. It is possible with that the lawn regardless if it was let go, that there could be some critters having a munch, of that something was left laying in that spot, that killed the grass off.

I would say to get a lawn pro in your area to look at it, not one of the nationwide companies, also, how low are you cutting the lawn. From appearances, I would say that you are also cutting it too low. Now of course, if you get Scott's or Tru-Green to show up, they should be able to tell you very quickly what the soil is doing, along with any and all grasses, etc.

But first, get some better pic's, not the extreme close-ups to show more of the yard and that area.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
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Lawn is being destroyed


I will take a few other pictures. I had cut the lawn a little low the last time and then all of the sudden it just kinda stopped growing. 3 weeks went by until I had to mow again. That's not normal. Especially considering we've had a wet spring here in north Texas. I did cut it pretty short all last summer. I didn't know any better. I was only informed of this tidbit last month and after our yard started dissentigrating. I've pretty much come to terms with the fact I'll have to resod a few areas but I'm trying to stop it from spreading.

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:40 PM   #5
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Lawn is being destroyed


I resized the original pictures. Hope that's better. It rained like crazy today so the ground is all wet but here goes.

Something else I forgot to mention. I actually leaf raked the grey layer of dead grass or thatch. that's why the areas all look like bare dirt. Was hoping to get some contact growth from the neighbor's St. Augustine. I probably should just till it.

The area that first started dying next to the driveway. Notice the green bermuda (and weeds) coming in:



Here is the 2nd part that started dying by the road. Most of that green is weeds:





Here is a closer picture of the 3rd spot and it show a bit of where it's continuing to deteriorate:





And lastly, the area that has just started to go. This is on the top part of picture # 3 and right next to the driveway.




All areas start out like this 4th picture and progressively get worse. At the beginning of the Spring we had the best yard. Now we have the worst. All of this damage only took a month and yes I probably should've called someone in. But I am just learning and I'm a little hard headed and thought I could fix it or at least stop it myself. I actually still think I can. haha

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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Lawn is being destroyed


Yeah, you have something going on. My guess is that something is munching on the grass there. That side by the drive, could be something that was sprayed on the drive like Muratic Acid or TSP and got washed towards that side. Check with local landscaping companies that also do yard care maintenance or call a national company that can take the time vs. come and dash, so they can also look and give you an assessment.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #7
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Ive seen that damage before. You've got grubs. Peel back a section and you will see large white worm type things. They grow into June bugs.

You need to get that lawn treated before they ruin the whole thing and the neighbours

Last edited by creeper; 06-08-2012 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper View Post
Ive seen that damage before. You've got grubs. Peel back a section and you will see large white worm type things. They grow into June bugs.

They grow into Jap beetles around here.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:21 AM   #9
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They grow into Jap beetles around here.
Thats funny

We are both correct. The difference is that June bugs are night flyers and japanese beetles are daytime
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by creeper View Post
Ive seen that damage before. You've got grubs. Peel back a section and you will see large white worm type things. They grow into June bugs.

You need to get that lawn treated before they ruin the whole thing and the neighbours
I thought we might have something like that initially, so we treated with Triazicide. Like a whole 20 pound bag. It's still happening.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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Lawn is being destroyed


I'm going to check for grubs and report back. Thanks for the help so far guys.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:27 PM   #12
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Lawn is being destroyed


its hard to tell.. if you have grubs and they are adults they are impossible to kill. you have to kill next years crop. there are three types of grubs..european chaffers are the worst . the other 2 take 3 years to adult and the birds usually get them but the European chaffers grow and mature in one year . you will need to top dress your lawn and grow new seed, rake out all the dead matter and top dress with soil. when you see the first june bug of the year treat with Admire (bayer makes it the best grub control on the market "if you can use in your area" ) active ingredient is imiacloprid spray as directed no more or no less. you may have to use it every year... the other thing it may be is chinch bug.they are little bugs that suck clorifile out of plant .. to see if it is them go the where the grass is still green but on the edge of dead grass. get on hands and knees and part grass if you see little black bugs with white x on back you have chinch bugs , diazonon or other such chemical will get rid of them .. good luck.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #13
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Lawn is being destroyed


Usually the best time to put down grub killer is in the mid-August time frame after the beetles have laid their eggs underground and the eggs have just hatched. Then the grubs are small.

By spring the grubs are big and it typically takes four times the amount of grub killer to kill them. (Or get the kind of grub killer meant for spring use and don't skimp on how much.)

Exact date depends on your city's latitude (from the equator) and the species of beetle.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:48 AM   #14
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Lawn is being destroyed


Just an update on this. I was pretty positive it was chinch bugs so I went to Home Depot and bought 2 things. Bug B Gone max for a pump sprayer and some fungus granules just in case I had a fungus. I only sprayed one tank worth of the Bug-B-Gon around the perimeter of the new damage. Since then it has not gotten any worse. So, either I killed whatever was killing the lawn, or it just miraculously stopped.

I've since had the biggest spot of bare dirt fill in with weeds and burmuda grass. I'm just going to continue to let the burmuda fill in and in a few days all of the bare dirt should be covered with either st augustine, burmuda, or weeds. I'll pull the weeds and rough up the dirt to see if the burmuda will spread. I can worry about switching it back over to raleigh later, i just didn't like the eyesore of bare dirt in my front yard.

Thanks for the insight guys.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #15
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Lawn is being destroyed


the adults have to be killed before they hatch the larve if not as you see the larve do most of the munching on the roots...peel back the lawn on the green borders and you'll see them..

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