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...

  • Student working with a laptop for online degreeOnline students in the online Master's of Science (MS) degree program will benefit from a reduced credit-hour requirement and a reduced time requirement following changes by the UNL Graduate College and the Entomology Department. Starting next fall, students may earn an online MS degree for 30 credits, instead of 36 credits, under the Option B.  The new degree plan must be completed within five years, instead of 10 years.  More details about this change may be found on the IANR News website.
  • Dr. Gary Brewer
  • Dr. Gary Brewer, professor of Entomology has a new Push-Pull Strategy to manage Stable Flies.  These flies cause billions in economic losses for the US and the world. Brewer explains the Strategy on this YouTube Video. 
  • Annie KruegerAnnie Krueger, Ph.D. candidate in Entomology, was featured in the IANR Student Spotlight this week. Annie is from Stevensville, MD, and plans to graduate this August. She is mentored by Dr. Troy Anderson

  • Dr. Doug GolickDr. Doug Golick, associate professor of Entomology, received a $19,259 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) in April. He received one of 23 grants that were awarded to faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Golick will study Milkweed as a teaching tool in the classroom. 
  • Dr. Autumn SmartThe Economics of Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Mgt. & Overwintering Strategies of Colonies Used to Pollinate Almonds,” co-authored by Dr. Autumn Smart, was chosen as a runner-up in the 2019-20 Readers' Choice Award for the Journal of Economic Entomology. Congratulations Autumn!
  • Matthew GreinerMS student Matt Greiner (mentored by Ana Vélez) was awarded 1st place in the student paper competition at the recent Ozark-Prairie SETAC meeting. The victory will provide him with funds to attend the national SETAC meeting in November. Way to go, Matthew!