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Excessive thatch is caused by too much nitrogen, which grows grass components faster than soil organisms can decompose them. The use of pesticides kills earthworms that are important decomposers of thatch. If there are no earthworms, then thatch buildup is inevitable. Try using only organic fertilizers which stimulate biological activity and are less prone to overfeed the grass....and more than likely, you probably will not need to use a dethatching machine. Leaving clippings on the lawn may help reduce thatch by stimulating beneficial soil life, as well.