How to Treat Red Thread Lawn Disease

How to Treat Red Thread Lawn Disease

If your lawn is starting to look a little pink, it might not be your eyesight – you may be dealing with Red Thread Lawn Disease.

The good news is that Red Thread Lawn Disease is not harmful to humans or animals, however, it can cause damage to your lawn.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat and prevent this fungal intruder.

Read on to find out what to look for, how to control Red Thread Disease, and ways to keep it at bay.

What is Red Thread Disease?

Red Thread Disease is caused by the fungus Laetisaria fuciformis and affects cool-season turf grasses, such as Bentgrass, Couch (also known as Bermuda grass) Fescues and Perennial Ryegrasses.

Red Thread Disease is characterized by patches (up to 150mm) of dead, yellowing grass.

The leaves start to die off, which gives the grass an overall scorched or ragged appearance. As the disease progresses, it eventually kills the entire plant.

Conditions that Favour Red Thread Disease

Red Thread Disease in lawns can be encouraged by several conditions, but the most significant factor is foliar wetness. This can come from heavy dews, light rains or fog, and is most likely to occur if the lawn is exposed to more than 10 hours of foliar wetness each day for several consecutive days.

Red Thread Disease thrives in temperatures between 17°C and 29°C. It can also be severe in poorly nourished lawns, where potassium, phosphorus, calcium and nitrogen are deficient. Inadequate fertility causes the grass growth to slow down, allowing the disease to take hold, and spread. High-stress conditions, such as drought and extreme temperatures, can also be triggers for Red Thread infections.

What does Red Thread Disease Look Like?

Red Thread infects the leaves of your lawn, and the first sign of infection is usually the appearance of irregularly shaped, dry, brown patches of 50mm to 150 mm in diameter. Dead leaves die off from the tip, downwards.

As Red Thread Disease spreads, the edges of the patch will appear to have a pinkish tinge, especially when the grass is wet. This is caused by reddish-pink fungal threads, called mycelium, that cling to or extend from the tips of, the grass blades.

If you’re unsure if it is Red Thread, or another type of fungal disease, a good time to check is in the morning, when there is dew on the grass. Red Thread will appear darker red in colour when it is wet. Over time, you may also notice a pink, gelatinous growth on top of grass blades.

Red Thread Disease Treatment

Prevention is always better than a cure, so the best approach to managing Red Thread is to ensure that your grass is in good health, and to avoid the stress triggers that promote fungal growth.

However, if Red Thread Disease has taken hold of your lawn, you can treat it with a fungicide. Following the instructions on the label, a fungicide will kill any active fungal spores, and help prevent further spreading of infection.

Once treated, you should address any nutrition or water-logging issues, to avoid a recurrence. If the area is particularly shady, consider trimming back any overhanging branches or foliage to improve sunlight and air movement.

You should also oversow any bare patches with appropriate grass seed.

In Conclusion

The symptoms for Red Thread Lawn Disease are quite similar to other lawn diseases, so it’s important to confirm what type of fungal problem you have first. Controlling the issue should be focused on removing the conditions that promote fungal growth, including addressing any water logging issues, or imbalances in soil nutrition or pH. Fungicides can be used if needed, but you should aim to avoid future infection by focusing on keeping your soil in optimal health.

For more information on suitable products to manage your lawn health, visit myhomeTURF’s online store.

Free Lawn Guide

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive your free guide.

View our Privacy policy

Related Articles

How to Control Grey Leaf Spot in your Lawn

Grey Leaf Spot is a fungal disease that can affect both grassy and broadleaf plants. The disease is often a problem during wet and humid spring weather. Lawns infected with ...

Read More

How to Treat Fairy Ring Lawn Disease

Despite its name, there are no fairies to be found in Fairy Ring Lawn Disease. This lovely sounding disease is actually caused by an abundance of organic matter in the lawn, ...

Read More

How to Get Rid of Spring Dead Spot

Spring should be a time of year to enjoy the outdoors. But for some homeowners, spring also brings with it a frustrating problem known as Spring Dead Spot. Spring Dead Spot is ...

Read More

How To Treat Pythium Blight in Your Lawn

Pythium Blight is a fungal disease that can affect lawns in Australia’s warm and wet tropical regions. Homeowners should be on the lookout for Pythium Blight, as it can ruin ...

Read More

How to Treat Anthracnose in Your Lawn

Anthracnose is a type of fungal disease that can affect both grassy and broadleaf plants. While it is most commonly seen in trees, it can also cause problems for lawns. ...

Read More

How to Treat Helminthosporium Leaf Spot

Helminthosporium Leaf Spot is a common fungal disease impacting home lawns during wet seasons. Starting out as small spots in the lawn, it can spread very quickly, causing ...

Read More

How to Treat Take-all Patch in Your Lawn

Just as its name implies, Take-all Patch takes it all, killing off the roots, runner and leaves, and leaving unsightly dead patches in your lawn. In this article, we look at ...

Read More

How long does lawn fungicide last?

It can be hugely disappointing to see the damage fungal diseases can do to your lawn, whether it manifests as discoloured leaves, slime, or expanding dead patches of grass. ...

Read More

How to treat Dollar Spot disease

Dollar Spot disease is caused by the fungus Sclerotinia Homoeocarpa and is common in both warm and cool season grasses across Australia. Dollar Spot can lie dormant over ...

Read More

When should I use lawn fungicide?

If you live in an area prone to high rainfall and humidity, your lawn has probably experienced fungal disease, even if you didn’t recognise it. But fungal diseases aren’t ...

Read More