The Q&A Archives: Dead grass everywhere

Question: Every day I am finding more and more circles of dead grass, which eventually comes out by hand and has left circles of empty patches everywhere. The whole lawn looks like it's slowly dying and we've seen a lot of birds and squirrels feeding on something in the grass. At first I thought I needed to fertilize, then I thought it was an issue of having over-fertilized; then, I thought I needed to dethatch. Nothing has worked and I'm becoming very dismayed. We do have a lot of Japanese Beetles this year (I'm in Baltimore County, MD) and I'm wondering if it's grubs and what I can do. Please help. Thanks.

Answer: It might be Japanese beetle grub damage as they will destroy the roots so that the grass can be peeled away. Birds, skunks and moles will also feed on the grubs. These can be controlled over several years time with milky spore or beneficical nematodes. There are also some diseases that can appear as dying circles in the lawn. These tend to appear during periods of high humidity and high temperatures and can be controlled to some extent by cultural practices and selection of resistant cultivars of lawn grass. I would suggest you work with your county extension to obtain a definite identification of the problem and based on knowing that, work from there. I'm sorry I can't be more specific for you long distance.

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