Rust appears as an orange or yellowish-orange powder (spores) on
grass leaf blades, especially in late summer to early fall when
the weather is dry. Overall, the turf may assume a yellow, red
or brown appearance. Close examination will reveal the pustules,
which easily rub off on your hand. Rust spores can easily be
tracked into homes.
Rust typically develops on lawns growing
very slowly. Low fertility (in particular, nitrogen) and low
water availability slow down turf growth, allowing rust to
develop. Seasons with excess rain may have rust outbreaks due to
loss of available nitrogen. Cool nights with heavy dew and
light, frequent rainfall add to the ideal conditions for rust to
develop. Warm, cloudy, humid weather followed by hot, sunny
weather also favors rust development on lawns. Rust spreads
through air, water, shoes, equipment and sod.
Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue are
all affected, depending on cultivars. Rust may weaken
turfgrasses and make them more susceptible to other problems.
Control rust through sound turf management. Begin by choosing
a quality blend of turfgrass seed. Resistance to rust can vary
according to the race of the disease present. Maintain lawns
through sound watering, mowing and fertilizing. If you are
watering, water early in the day so the grass dries quickly.
Manage problem thatch. Increase vigor with an early fall
nitrogen application, but don't overdo it. Check soil phosphorus
and potassium levels through soil testing. Also assure good
airflow and light penetration over the site by pruning trees and
shrubs in the area near the lawn.
When rust occurs at this time, improved growth conditions of
early fall often get lawns growing more vigorously, and the rust
fades away. Early September is a key time for fertilization. If
conditions are dry, irrigation is also needed to increase the
growth rate of the lawn.
Fungicides are rarely suggested for rust control on home
lawns. Focus on the cultural practices described above.
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They're back, and almost a month earlier than normal. During the
late summer, small insects known as insidious flower bugs and minute
pirate bugs become real pests by producing painful bites on people.
They are about 1/5 of an inch long, with black and white markings on
They are beneficial insects most of the time while feeding on
small insects and their eggs. They are present all summer in area
fields, flower beds and other landscape areas. Then they become
quite the nuisance when their regular food source runs out.
Their painful bite is caused by their beak breaking your skin.
These insects don't suck blood or inject venom like mosquitoes.
People differ in their response to the bites. Some people react to
the bites like mosquito bites, with swelling and itching. Other
people have no reaction at all.
Control of insidious flower bugs and minute pirate bugs is not
practical. They are mobile, and the populations change greatly.
Wearing dark clothing may help, as the insects seem to be attracted
to light colors.
University of Illinois Extension]