Turfgrass Pest Key


1. C-shaped,cream-colored bodies; three pairs of short legs behind reddish-brown head; 1/4 to 1 inch in length White Grubs
a. Spines on raster without distinct pattern Masked Chafer Grubs
b. Spines on raster arranged in two distinct parallel lines May/June Beetle Grubs
c. Spines on raster forming "V" shape Japanese Beetle Grubs
d. Very small grub; spines on raster without distinct pattern; two pad-like structures on raster Black Turfgrass Ataenius Grubs
2. Creamed-colored, legless bodies with brown heads and bodies; 1/4 to 1/2 inch long; appear similar to a grain of puffed rice Billbug Larvae (Grubs)


1. Gray to tan caterpillars; 1/4-1 inch long with small dark spots on body Sod Webworms
2. Caterpillars with six true legs on front part of body, prolegs on abdomen, and brown to gray head; 1 ½ inches in length Cutworms and Armyworms
a. Dark brown to black on upper side; paler on underside; three narrow yellow stripes on back and a broad yellow stripe on each side, bronze sheen Bronzed Cutworms
b. Dark gray to black with pale stripe down back; few other markings Black Cutworms
c. Grey to brown with orange lateral stripe and a series of darker lateral markings; row of yellow or white dots down middle of back Variegated Cutworms
d. Gray to yellowish green tinged with pink; stripes down center of back and along each side; head light brown with a distinct honeycomb pattern Armyworms
e. Gray to yellow-green, stripes on sides, inverted "Y" marking on head Fall Armyworms
3. Hard-shelled, dark brown to black 1/4 inch long weevils with mouthparts located at the end of curved snout or bill, slow moving, "play possum" when disturbed Bluegrass Billbug Adults
4. Predominantly black bodies with white wings or wingless; 1/10 inch; Nymphs are small bright red insects with a white band across the abdomen Chinch Bugs
5. Light green aphid with narrow dark stripe down back black-tipped legs, antennae, and cornicles (tail pipes) - winged and wingless forms> Greenbugs
6. Small, wedge-shaped green or brown insects 1/8 to 3/8 inch long; very active - jumping, flying or rapidly moving over leaf blades Leafhoppers
7. Minute (less than 1/32 inch), oval-shaped, reddish-brown to green bodies; often suspended in network of fine webbing on undersides of grass blades Spider Mites
8. Small brown to black insects active on soil surface; volcano-like mounds of soil Ants

Breaking Entomological News...

  • Congratulations to all of our student winners at the ESA National Meeting - Andrea Rilaković, 1st Place Undergrad Virtual Poster, Sajjan Grover, 2nd Place Grad Infographic, Jeffrey Cluever, 2nd Place Grad Infographic, Earl Agpawa, 2nd Place Undergrad Poster, Timothy Dang, 2nd Place Grad Poster, Annie Krueger, 1st Place Grad Poster and 1st Place 3-Minute Competition, Jordy Reinders, 1st Place Oral paper, Gabriela Carmona, 2nd Place Oral paper, Molly Darlington, 1st Place Oral paper, and Kelly Willemssens (SNR student), 2nd Place 3-Minute Competition. The group came in second in the number of awards won by one department.
  • Dr. Joe Louis receives the Early Career Innovation award from the Entomological Society of America
  • Congratulations to Dr. Troy Anderson on being elected Vice President Elect for the Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section of the Entomological Society of America!
  • Scott O’Neal (NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow with Troy Anderson) was recognized as the 2019 New Investigator of the Year by the American Chemical Society AGRO Division. Congratulations, Scott!
  • Dr. Kyle Koch named new insect diagnostician
  • Check out the Emerald Ash Borer Resource Center, and our Emerald Ash Borer Look-Alike Insects Sheet - Be Sure Before You Treat!