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

Entomology News at Nebraska

Breaking Entomological News...

  • Dr. Susan WellerDr. Susan Weller, director of the University of Nebraska State Museum and professor of Entomology, has been elected a fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA). The society noted Weller’s internationally-known research on arctiine moths and other Noctuoidea, and her administrative leadership in promoting entomology and science education. See the article at UNL News for more about Weller's recognition. Congratulations Susan!
  • Marilyn Weidner & GracieWe are pleased to announce that Marilyn Weidner has been named winner of the IANR Exemplary Service Award! Weidner has roles in administrative support, personnel management, data documentation and archiving, review preparation, promotion and evaluation tracking, payroll for 15 departments, and much more. Well deserved Marilyn!
  • Rogan Tokach winning scholarshipCongratulations to Rogan Tokach (Master's student co-mentored by Dr. Autumn Smart and Dr. Judy Wu-Smart) on being awarded a $10,000 national Christi Heintz Memorial Scholarship by Project Apis m!
    Well done, Rogan!
  • Steve Spomer with Beetle CollectionsSpomer nets 40-year Butterfly & Beetle Legacy. Best wishes to Steve Spomer who is retiring this December after 40 years in the Entomology Department. Spomer has identified nearly 700 insect species, including the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, and taught countless University of Nebraska-Lincoln students. 
  • Bridget Gross with Bees.Bridget Gross, master's student in Entomology, mentored by Dr. Judy Wu-Smart and Dr. Doug Golick, was featured in the Nov. 11th IANR Student Spotlight. Bridget presented her master's degree seminar last month and graduates in December.

  • Check out the Emerald Ash Borer Resource Center, and our Emerald Ash Borer Look-Alike Insects Sheet - Be Sure Before You Treat!