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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Diagnosing your problem

Lawn problems are difficult to diagnose, and the diagnosis process can be quite complex. Remember that most turfgrass problems are caused by improper management practices, not by insects or diseases. Before you begin the diagnostic key, take a look at how you manage your lawn. You may be able to solve your problem by simply changing your cultural practices.

Answer the questions on the right before proceeding.

After you have answered the questions and can safely eliminate the associated abiotic disorders from being the cause of your problem, begin the diagnostic key. This key is a guide and does not include all possible disorders. However, it should lead to a diagnosis for most common problems. Refer to the section on "Diagnostic tips" for more information.

Have you fertilized in the past eight months?

Have you fertilized in the past two weeks?

Have you applied an herbicide or other pesticide on your lawn or in other areas near your lawn in the past two weeks?

Have you checked your irrigation system in the past month, and is it working and giving full coverage?

Are you growing the correct turfgrass species for your situation?

Where does the problem occur and is there a pattern?

Are you mowing properly?

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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