Hilltop Nurseries, 
Clacton Road, Weeley, 
Essex, CO16 9DN
01255 830325

Lawn Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases occur in nature and lawns can become affected. Here are the most common in the UK, and what to do about them


Annual meadow grass is a one of the most widespread grasses in the world and is naturally occuring in agricultural land. Unfortunately, turf growers cannot spray out weed grasses because doing so would also kill the good grass. We do our best to keep our fields clean in order to minimise the occurence of weed grasses. It can be made less noticable by applying a fertiliser to improve its colour so that it blends with the rest of the grass, not letting turf get too long between mowing, mowing frequently, and removing grass clippings when mowing (since it spreads by seed). To remove clumps of meadow grass, cut it out from the soil and reseed over the patch.


Common to warm and damp conditions on newly laid turf and established lawns. Do not eat toadstools as they could be poisonous. The best way of removing them is to use a mower with a grass box attached and cut the grass as you usually would. Although toadstools are unslightly they will not harm the grass.

red thread

A fungal disease that naturally occurs when the grass is under stress. To combat red thread makesure the soil under your lawn is well structured and free draining. Applying a high nitrogen fertiliser can also help the grass to recover.

leather jackets

Leather jacket grubs are the larvae of daddy long legs / crane flies. Female adults lay eggs in late summer which quickly hatch into leather jackets. They then live underground over the winter and spring before hatching and flying away as new crane flies. Leather jackets feed mainly on the root of turf, which causes stunted growth and brown patches. Most damage occurs during spring.

Chemical control of leather jackets is no longer possible due to concerns about these pesticides to wildlife and humans. The best thing to do is to keep your lawn well fed and healthy and it will help it to sustain the leather jackets.


Naturally occuring in the autumn and winter in the mild and damp weathr, white mould spores can appear on your lawn partiicularly in shady or sheltered areas. Although this can be unslightly, frosty weather usually eliminates it. The grass usually recovers the following spring. 

Need advice?

For more help, please call our friendly team or see our blog for tips and advice
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