How to identify and Treat Red Thread Lawn Disease

As someone who cares about their lawn, the last thing you want to see is problems that affect not only the look and appearance but the overall health of the lawn. Of course, when it comes to maintaining a healthy and thriving lawn, diseases can be a major source of frustration.

Oftentimes, lawn diseases seemingly pop up overnight and can spread quickly.

Among the various turf diseases, red thread is one such problem. In this article, we’ll talk about how to identify red thread lawn disease and what you can do about it. As with any lawn problem, taking the proper “next steps” is the key to success.

What Does Red Thread Lawn Disease Look Like?

The first step in treating any lawn problem is identifying what’s actually going on. Let’s talk about how to identify red thread lawn disease. Due to its coloring, this is typically an easy lawn disease to spot.

Red Thread Lawn Disease

Red thread disease is a lawn fungus that gets its name from the reddish/pink/tan coloring it produces on the grass. Lawn fungus is a common cause of lawn problems. It’s important to understand that all lawns are comprised of millions of microorganisms and therefore fungal spores exist on all lawns. Often, these are beneficial to the lawn’s health.

However, when the conditions are just right (hot temperatures and high moisture content), then spores can multiply. This is when you start to see various diseases like red thread potentially emerge. In the case of red thread, specifically, it is an overgrowth of the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis. 

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Red thread is one of the first lawn diseases that pops up during the early growing season and is most common in the spring, especially during rainy periods. 

In addition to the red/pink coloring, you might also notice that the surrounding grass looks ragged and dying. Impacted grass areas typically show up as patches throughout the lawn.

Diseased areas of grass will dry out and fade to a yellowish straw color.

How to Treat Red Thread Lawn Disease

If you’ve spotted signs of this fungus, you might be wondering what is the treatment for red thread lawn disease.

While there are fungicide treatments that can help control red thread, in many cases the problem is not sufficient enough to need these treatments.

lawn care technician spraying grass

In fact, any time that you are dealing with a lawn fungus, there is always the question of whether it’s worth starting fungicide treatments or not. Fungicides can be expensive and are typically only effective for about 21 days and then need to be reapplied again. 

It’s also important to note that fungicides only stop the spread. They do not cure patches of grass that have already been damaged. Damage that has already occurred will need to be addressed with recovery techniques like lawn seeding

fertilizer spreader putting seed in grass

It’s very important that you work with a lawn care company that will provide you with transparent and honest information in the treatment of any lawn disease. Lawn care companies that make false promises set you up for disappointment. 

Ultimately, the decision to treat with fungicides is often a judgment call based on how severely your lawn is affected. Many lawn diseases, like red thread, will clear up on their own but you will have to ride out a period of damage. A lawn care professional can help guide you toward the best decision for the treatment for red thread lawn disease.

Cultural Practices to Discourage Lawn Disease

An important consideration in the treatment for red thread lawn disease is the fact that it is often worse in lawns that have low levels of nitrogen. Therefore, taking advantage of a lawn care program that incorporates professional lawn fertilization services is an important step in dealing with this disease. 

lawn care technician fertilizes grass

While homeowners sometimes try to take matters into their own hands, we would urge a lot of caution. The precise application of fertilizer to lawns is critical to success. Excessive use of fertilizer can actually contribute to additional disease problems later in the season. Other lawn diseases, like brown patch disease, are associated with too much nitrogen, so it’s a very delicate balance. 

It’s also important to note that store-bought disease control products can also sometimes make a problem worse. For one, you need to be certain that you’ve properly identified exactly what’s going on with the lawn. But the improper application of these products can also cause further problems. You also don’t want to waste your money on ineffective products that aren’t going to give you the results you desire. 

sprinkler head waters grass

Your watering habits can also play a role in disease management. Since moisture levels have a direct impact on fungus growth, it’s critical that you aren’t overwatering the lawn

It’s also best to water your lawn in the early morning so that you allow the lawn enough time to dry out during the day. Wet, dark conditions are the optimal breeding ground for lawn disease so you do not want to water late in the day or at night.

Working with Lawn Care Services in Pennsylvania to Address Lawn Disease

The identification and treatment of lawn disease is something that lawn care professionals do best. While red thread is one of those diseases that are easy to spot, it’s important to note that it’s not uncommon for lawns to be dealing with more than one problem at once. 

In addition, a lot of disease problems do overlap, so having a lawn care professional make an accurate diagnosis is key. They will also be keeping a watchful eye on your property so that they spot early signs of a problem.

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That being said, lawn diseases like red thread can pop up quickly so it’s important to get in touch with your lawn care provider if something is awry in-between visits. Then they can help you determine the best course of action depending on various factors.

While there is no surefire way to prevent disease from ever creeping in, handling it quickly can make a difference. 

At Joshua Tree, we value the direct communication that we have with our clients. Lawn care is a two-way street with both the client and the technicians involved. We form ongoing partnerships with our clients and ensure that we are communicating regularly. The result is dealing with problems like lawn disease in a way that is best for the client and their lawn.

By choosing the right lawn care professional, you should be able to feel confident that your lawn is in good hands. That means that even if a disease does occur, you don’t have to panic.

If you ever have any questions about lawn disease or other lawn problems you may be experiencing, we are here to help. We want to see you get the best lawn care results so that you can get back to enjoying your lawn and stop worrying about problems. 

If you’d like to know more about how Joshua Tree can help meet your lawn needs at your home in the Allentown or Lansdale, PA area, or you have more questions, we’re here to help! Get in touch with us to get some free expert advice and learn more about our lawn care program options.

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