Turfgrass insect pest

  • Hunting billbug, Sphenophorous venatus vestitus (Family: Curculionidae) (Figure 1) is one of the important weevil pests of turfgrass in Georgia. It is called a billbug because of its long snout or “bill” which has small mandibles at the tip. Hunting billbug infestations in turfgrass are not easily detected until the first signs of feeding damage…

    Posted in:
  • Bristly roseslug sawfly, Cladius difformis (Fig. 1), is a common species of roseslug in Georgia. The larval stages feed on rose leaves and cause extensive damage. Native to Europe, the bristly roseslug sawfly was accidentally introduced to the continental USA, a few decades ago. This roseslug is particularly problematic on rose shrubs in ornamental landscapes. Another roseslug common in the southeastern…

    Posted in:
  • The billbug pest complex (Sphenophorus spp.) has increased in importance in turfgrass systems throughout the U.S. in recent years, causing significant losses to sod farms, golf courses, and the landscape care industry, maintaining residential, commercial, and public lawns. The hunting billbug, Sphenophorus venatus vestitus Chittenden, is the most destructive species in warm-season grasses. Adult female…

    Posted in:
  • Silverleaf whitefly, also known as the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae; Fig. 1), attack a wide range of plants, from ornamentals to warm-season vegetables in the U.S. Whiteflies are active from mid-July to mid-October and are found gather together on the underside of the leaves during the daytime (Fig. 2). Although 76 whitefly species are known to exist in the southeastern U.S., only a few species, such…

    Posted in:
  • Plant feeding mites can cause serious damage in turfgrass systems, and drought-stressed turfgrass is particularly prone to mite infestation. Mites are generally active in turfgrasses from spring into fall. They feed on plant sap and, in some cases, also inject toxins into plant tissues or manipulate plant growth, thereby producing characteristic symptoms. Some mites do…

    Posted in:
  • Introduction The sugarcane beetle (Euetheola humilis, family: Scarabaeidae) (Fig. 1) has been an important pest for over 100 years in many crops, including sugarcane, corn, sweet potato, and rice. It is a native species and is commonly found in turfgrass. A low number of beetles in an area is not generally considered a pest. This…

    Posted in:
  • In the 1800s the multiflora rose was introduced into the United States from Japan, China, and Korea. Beginning in the 1930s, the USDA encouraged the use of multiflora roses because they were said to be ideal for erosion control and living fences, making them a popular choice for planting throughout the United States. It wasn’t…

    Posted in:
  • Tea scale, Fiorinia theae (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) (Fig. 1), is a serious economic pest of several ornamental plants in nurseries and landscapes in Georgia, including camellias and hollies. Tea scale is an armored scale that causes chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaf tissue, and under severe infestations, plants may die. They undergo multiple overlapping generations per year…

    Posted in:
  • We are witnessing outbreak populations of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in residential, and public lawns across Georgia at this moment (as of 30 Aug. 2021). The caterpillar stages of fall armyworm feed on the turfgrass leaf blades and stems. The turfgrass can go from a perfect green to complete brown within 2 to 3 days.…

    Posted in:
  • 1. Time to scout for gray leaf spot Gray leaf spot is a fungus disease that affects St. Augustinegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue in Georgia. Hot humid summer weather and high nitrogen levels can make turf susceptible to this disease. The fungus causing the disease is Pyricularia oryzae (Magnaporthe oryzae). Symptoms: The symptoms of…

    Posted in: