4 Common Causes of Yellow Patches on Your Tampa Lawn

Whether you live in South Tampa, North Tampa, or beyond, yellow patches on your Florida lawn can be more than just an eye sore – they can indicate more significant issues. So let’s talk about some causes of dry, yellow patches, from pests to irrigation practices that are often specific to the Tampa area.


Too much water

Believe it or not, the problem may be that you’re overwatering your lawn or that water is getting distributed unevenly. What may appear as a patch of dry, straw-like grass could be signs of root rot from overwatering.

Root rot is a broad term covering a range of fungal problems. Overwatering may cause this problem because if the lawn is oversaturated, the roots will sit in a layer of water for a prolonged time.

If your irrigation schedule hasn’t been appropriately adjusted to the season or if your sprinklers are not arranged correctly, the yellow patches on your lawn may be due to overwatering.

That’s why after every treatment, we share our recommended watering schedule with our clients, so they always know whether they need to adjust their sprinkler settings.

Drought damage

On the other end of the spectrum, some dry patches (especially if they are near pavement), could be caused by drought damage.

Every lawn has an Achilles heel. These spots are often near roads and sidewalks that we call impervious surfaces. Grass that is near or surrounded by impervious surfaces dries out. Since most lawns in Florida need a moist soil bed to thrive, this can lead to serious problems.

Many, people assume that these patches are caused by pests and while that’s a possibility, more often than not, the problem is drought stress.

To fix this, you would want to adjust your lawn’s irrigation system of your lawn. It may be that you need to water those specific dry patches more frequently and/or for longer periods of time.


Although pests are often an over-diagnosed cause of dead grass, it’s always possible that they are part of the problem. Unfortunately, many pests thrive in Florida’s environment. But spotting the issue early on can help you minimize the damage. Here are three common pests to keep an eye out for:

  • Chinch bugs: These bugs are one of the hardest to see yet do some of the most damage. Chinch bugs feed off a variety of grass types, and when they gather in large numbers, a toxin can prevent grass from getting nutrients and moisture to the soil. And because chinch bugs prefer sunny areas, the damage is often mistaken for drought conditions.

  • You may be able to tell if it’s chinch bugs by observing the damage. If the damage spreads quickly and leaves a trail, it is likely chinch bugs.

  • Sod webworms: These are underground pests that feed on grass blades quickly. Not only can they make the lawn look cosmetically unappealing, but they can also undermine your lawn’s foundation, leaving the yard more vulnerable to fungal diseases and other pathogens.

  • You may be able to spot the signs of sod webworms if you notice sections of grass starting to separate from the lawn’s foundations. Other symptoms may include yellow, thinning patches across the lawn’s surface.

  • Mole crickets: All species of mole crickets tunnel through roots and munch on shoots of grass, which cause the patch of grass to die. They are slow-moving pests, but they can still do a lot of damage to a lawn.

    You can identify the problem as mole crickets if you spot small bulges on the turf and soil. Or your lawn may feel spongy because it has detached from the roots.


Even if your lawn has the perfect irrigation system and no pests, it’s possible for a pathogen spread to your property from a neighbor’s lawn. This can especially happen if your respective lawns are serviced by the same landscaping or mowing company. Think of it as catching a cold from the co-worker in the cubicle next to yours. If you’re not sure why yellow, dry patches are showing up on your lawn, that may be the issue.

Ready for Your Greenest Lawn Ever?

If you’re looking for safer, more sustainable ways to care for your lawn or manage pests, give us a call. Within 24 hours, we’ll be on your lawn for a complimentary evaluation. During this first meeting, we’ll look at everything — irrigation system, flower beds, water features, and more — to get the full picture of the current state and health of your lawn from the roots up.

give us a call

My Organic Turf

South Tampa Lawn Care Service


Tampa Bay Area

Call Us Today! 1.813.957.4440