Lawn pests and diseases

Pests and diseases can sometimes affect lawns, causing damage or at best an unsightly mess. Find out what pests and diseases can affect your lawn and how to deal with them with advice from Essex turf grower and supplier, Paynes Turf.

How to deal with lawn pests and diseases Paynes Turf


Fusarium occurs naturally throughout the autumn and winter months. Symptoms include the appearance of white mould spores on the lawn, especially in shady or sheltered areas. To help prevent the onset of Fusarium avoid high doses of nitrogen fertiliser in the autumn – always use an appropriate autumn lawn feed. Once Fusarium occurs it’s difficult to get rid of but should disappear if the weather becomes frosty. However, the grass should fully recover from any damage when spring arrives.

Red Thread

Red Thread is a fungal disease that occurs if the grass is under stress, and is the most common form of lawn disease. Symptoms include patches of grass with a red tinge which later become light brown and washed out. To help prevent the appearance of Red Thread make sure your lawn has adequate drainage. If your lawn is affected by Red Thread apply a high nitrogen fertiliser to help the grass recover.


Toadstools are very common in newly laid turf and in well-established lawns, and usually appear in wet and damp conditions. Although unsightly, toadstools will not damage your lawn – just don’t eat them, as they could be poisonous. To remove toadstools, simply mow the lawn with the grass box attached.

Leather Jackets

No, not fashion from the eighties – Leather Jacket grubs are the larvae of daddy-longlegs or cranes. In late summer, female adults lay their eggs in the grass and the eggs then hatch into Leather Jackets. These creatures live underground feeding on the grass’ roots, before hatching in the summer and flying away as crane flies. Symptoms include grass that has stunted growth and brown patches, largely due to the feeding frenzy of the Leather Jackets. Damage usually occurs in the spring. Help to control Leather Jackets with an insecticide made by Bayer called Provado lawn grub killer, available from good garden centres.