in Palm Beach County, Florida
Lethal Viral Necrosis in Floratam St. Augustinegrass (formerly called Sugarcane Mosaic Virus, or SCMV) was first identified via laboratory analysis in Palm Beach County in November 2014, although it was likely here earlier. Prior to that, it was first seen in Florida in Pinellas County, but now can be found in many areas of the state. The disease is actually caused by two viruses that kill Floratam variety of St. Augustinegrass within 3 years, or less. Other St. Augustinegrass varieties and most warm season turfgrasses (excluding Zoysiagrass) can harbor the viruses, but are not killed by them. Losses in Palm Beach County are already substantial, and are likely to grow extensively because Floratam variety St. Augustinegrass is widely used. This viral mosaic disease is not treatable with any fungicides or pesticides. Avoidance through sanitation, and replacement with turf varieties other than Floratam are currently the only turf options. The following links provide important information about the problem, and more details about what you can do.