Common Lawn Issues

Broadleaf Weeds

Encompass a wide array of flowery plants with net like veins including dollar weed, Florida pusley, spurge, oxalis and asiatic hawksbeard. Our weed applications will control all of these weeds. Some weeds can be aquatic such as dollar weed. Others may thrive in drought conditions such as spurge.

Sedge Weeds

Are plants with leaves longer than they are wide and solid triangular stems generally with a seed bulb at the top of the stem. Sedges spread by seed and rhizome propagation. Sedge generally grows much taller than grass and therefore take away from the aesthetic of the lawn.

Grassy Weeds

Are a type of weed that resemble grasses. They have hollow stems and spread vegetatively. Common Grassy Weeds in Florida include Crabgrass, Alexander Grass, Torpedo Grass, and Common Bermuda Grass. With the exception of Crabgrass, these other Grassy Weeds are uncontrollable. Round-up is generally the only way to remove them.


crabgrassIs a grassy weed which thrives in wet warm conditions. It is an invasive and difficult to control weed. It can be controlled effectively in St. Augustine and Zoysia grass. Control for this weed will damage Bahia grass and therefore is not recommended. Control measures are costly and labor intensive, therefore most lawn and pest control companies do not offer Crabgrass control. As a premium service company, Heron offers Crabgrass control with our all inclusive lawn program.

Brown Patch Fungus

Is a common turf disease which can occur throughout the year, however severe outbreaks occur during fall and early winter when daytime temperatures range between 75 — 85 degrees, night temperatures fall below 68, and humidity is high causing the presence of free moisture on the foliage for extended periods of time. Shaded lawns that hold excessive moisture are most susceptible, but it may be found in full sun areas as well.

Affected turf will begin to wittle forming a necrotic ring and expanding outward. The leave blades will turn yellow and the base of the leaf will be brown and slimy.

Brown Patch can be minimized by the following:

Yellowing ring shaped pattern of Brown Patch Fungus

Yellowing ring shaped pattern of Brown Patch Fungus

  • Decrease your frequency of watering to the affected area. Brown Patch thrives in excessive moisture areas.
  • Do not apply any type of fertilizer to the lawn during Brown Patch outbreaks. The Nitrogen in the fertilizer will actually provide more food for the disease to spread further and faster.
  • Avoid mowing the affected areas. Mow around them. Do not step or walk on affected areas. If you have a lawn service, ask them to mow the affected area last, so that the clippings are not spread throughout the lawn.
  • Do not rake out the affected area. Leave it alone. Generally, the damage is topical and only the actual leaves are affected, leaving stolons and rhizomes intact. The grass blades will grow soon after the fungus becomes inactive. Resodding is generally not necessary.
  • Keep a watchful eye on the lawn for further outbreak patches. Call us right away when new patches emerge so we can dispatch a technician to your property to treat new areas.

Gray Leaf Spot

Gray Leaf SpotIs a common disease found in St. Augustine and Zoysia grass. Weak and stressed areas of turf are most susceptible to Gray Leaf Spot. This disease becomes a problem during the rainy season in summer. Gray Leaf Spot can be easily controlled with fungicide applications.

Chinch Bugs

Are the most serious pest attacking St. Augustine grass. They grow to about 1/8” long. They damage grass by sucking plant juices and secreting a toxic saliva into the leaf blade which kills the grass. They thrive in hot and dry conditions where grass becomes more vulnerable. Areas that dry out prematurely such as along driveways and sidewalks are common areas where damage begins. Chinch bugs can damage an entire lawn in a matter of a few weeks. There are very few insecticides available to achieve control as older insecticide technology is no longer effective due to chinch bugs becoming resistant. We use the most effective product available to control this very destructive pest.


fleaWill be equally found indoors and outdoors on lower areas such as floors, turf or mulch. They are avid jumpers and will actively seek out their hosts. Fleas cannot complete their life cycle in full sun and females must have a blood meal to reproduce. It will generally require more than one insecticide application to achieve control. An active infestation will require treatment both indoors and outdoors.


tickThe common deer tick is a carrier of lime disease among other diseases. Ticks are attracted to hosts from the carbon dioxide exhaled by mammals. Hard ticks seek hosts by an interesting behavior called “questing.” Questing ticks crawl up the stems of grass or perch on the edges of leaves on the ground in a typical posture with the front legs extended. Certain biochemicals such as carbon dioxide as well as heat and movement serve as stimuli for questing behavior. Subsequently, these ticks climb on to a potential host which brushes against their extended front legs or they can also drop onto a host passing by. Because of their nature to drop onto hosts, ticks are not generally found at ground level but instead perched at a higher level. It will generally require more than one insecticide application to achieve control.

Red Imported Fire Ants

Red Imported Fire AntCan be found anywhere outside including shrub beds, middle of the lawn, inside potted plants and along sidewalks and driveways. They have a painful stinging bite which can cause anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening to elderly people and infants. A Fire Ant mound has multiple entry and exit ways. Do not disturb the mound because it will spread the colony.

Mole Crickets

mole cricketDamage turf areas by digging tunnels just under the surface. They disrupt the root structure and will eat the base of grass blades. The ground will be spongy and grass blades will turn yellow and slide out easily when pulled. Mole Crickets will damage a wide variety of turf grasses including St. Augustine, Bahia and Zoysia. Control is best achieved with systemic insecticides.

Sod Webworms

sod webwormAre the larval stage of small dingy brown moths. They are colorless and often look green because of the ingested grass within their bodies. The adult moths have a wingspan of ¾” and do not cause turf damage. At their larval state, Sod Webworms will however damage grass by chewing on the leaf blades. They are most active at night and will rest during the daylight hours. Damage will resemble mowed down turf that is lower in some areas. Upon closer inspection, chew marks on the leaf blades are an indication that Sod Webworms are active. These can be effectively controlled with timely detection resulting in minimal turf injury.

Army Worms

army wormAre hairless caterpillars ranging in color from tan to olive green with yellow stripes running down the body. Dark circles are present on the midsection and a recognizable inverted yellow or white “Y” is present on the head. Unlike Sod Webworms, these caterpillars are active during daylight hours. Severe infestations will give the appearance of the grass moving and aptly named due to their large “army like” numbers and rapid damage. These can be effectively controlled with timely detection resulting in minimal turf injury.

"My husband and I wanted to give a huge compliment to our Heron Technicians named Jimmy who does our lawn care and shrubs, and to Heron Technician named Louis who does our pest control...." read more

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