WSU Extension


Lawn and Turf
2,4-D damage 
Anthracnose/Basal crown rot 
Brown blight 
Brown patch 
Curvularia blight (Fading out) 
Dog injury 
Dollar spot 
Fairy ring and mushrooms 
Leaf spot 
Microdochium patch (Pink snow mold) 
Necrotic ringspot 
Powdery mildew 
Pythium crown and root rot 
Red thread 
Septoria leaf spot (Tip blight) 
Slime molds 
Take-all patch 
Typhula blight (Gray snow mold) 
Yellow patch 
Chinch bugs 
European Chafer 
European crane fly 
Japanese beetle 
Japanese beetle 
Sod webworm 

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Caption: Rust
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Lawn and Turf : Rusts
(revision date: 3/22/2021)

Several species of fungi cause rusts of turfgrasses. Typical symptoms include yellow specks on the leaf blades followed by development of yellow, orange, dark orange-brown, or red rust pustules on either or both leaf surfaces. Infection may also occur on stems and leaf sheaths. Severe rust infections can kill leaf blades and may cause the turfgrass to appear thin or weak. Weedy species can infest weakened turfgrass. Affected areas of the lawn may show a reddish, brown, or yellow tint. Rust diseases are more severe on slow-growing or stressed grasses (shade, drought, poor nutrition, and incorrect mowing height are possible causes of stress). The fungi overwinter in diseased grass and can be spread by wind. Rusts typically occur on bluegrasses, ryegrasses, and fine fescues.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Plant mixtures of improved bluegrass varieties.
  • Provide proper culture (including adequate, balanced fertilization) to maintain vigorous, healthy turfgrass.
  • Water in the mornings so grass can dry quickly. Deep, infrequent watering is best.
  • Correct conditions which stress grass. For example, prune trees and shrubs to increase light penetration.
  • Mow regularly at recommended height. Remove clippings when rust infections are severe.
  • For more information on proper care of lawns see EB 0482E, Home Lawns.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Treat in early spring and fall when grass is growing slowly and the climate favors rust development. Do not repeatedly apply the same fungicide or fungicides with the same active ingredient as tolerant strains may result. Carefully check product labels.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • ferti-lome F-Stop Lawn & Garden Fungicide
    Active ingredient: myclobutanil  |  EPA reg no: 7401-505
  • ferti-lome Liquid Systemic Fungicide II R-T-Spray
    Active ingredient: propiconazole  |  EPA reg no: 53883-184-7401
  • Scotts Disease EX Lawn Control
    Active ingredient: azoxystrobin  |  EPA reg no: 538-330
  • Spectracide IMMUNOX Multi-Purpose Fungicide Spray Conc
    Active ingredient: myclobutanil  |  EPA reg no: 9688-123-8845
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.

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Caption: Rust
Photo by: R.S. Byther