Pest Alert № 1 — Pythium Blight

Pythium blight, P. aphanadermatum, was found today while scouting a creeping bentgrass fairway and tee with a history of this disease on the Bob Berry Sunshine Golf Course in Lemont, IL. This is perhaps the most feared disease of golf course superintendents because damage (turf infection then death) occurs very rapidly. Associated with overly wet conditions during summer periods = Chicago is currently experiencing.

Areas where drainage is lacking are most susceptible to damage by Pythium blight. Of turfgrasses we use, perennial ryegrass is highly vulnerable, whereas creeping bentgrass can recover if blight is caught early.

It’s time to have preventive programs in place. Pythium-specific plant protectants required. It’s time to Scout!

Pythium Blight Image 1: Main diagnostic feature in the field is the orange to red color of the infected turfgrass. Settle, Jun 30, 2020
Pythium Blight Image 2. Usually it’s hard to see the mycelium (because turf quickly collapses). Settle, Jun 30, 2021
Pythium Blight Image 3. Mycelium will appear gray in color and is most often located low in the turf canopy. Settle, Jun 30, 2021

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CDGATurfgrassProgram

Dedicated researchers and turf pathologists working for golf course superintendents in the Chicago area.