Turfgrass Pest Key

 

SOIL-ACTIVE INSECTS FEEDING ON CROWNS, ROOTS AND UNDERGROUND STEMS
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)

 

SURFACE-ACTIVE INSECTS FEEDING ON LEAVES AND STEMS
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...

  • Insect Science major Earl Agpawa (conducting undergraduate research with Joe Louis and Eileen Hebets) was named the 2020 winner of the ESA’s Plant-Insect Ecosystems Undergraduate Student Achievement Award.This is a national award that recognizes outstanding accomplishments in entomology by an undergraduate student working with insect-plant interactions. Congratulations, Earl!
  • PhD student Sajjan Grover (mentored by Joe Louis) was named the 2020 winner of the ESA’s Plant-Insect Ecosystems Kenneth and Barbara Starks Plant Resistance to Insects Graduate Student Award. This is a national award recognizing a graduate student for outstanding work in the area of host plant resistance. Congratulations, Sajjan!
  • Dr. Joe Louis receives a grant to study resistance in sorghum to fall armyworm
  • We are well-represented in ESA North Central Branch awards this year. Déia Montezano is the 2020 John Henry Comstock Outstanding PhD Student Award winner, Gary Brewer is the 2020 recipient of the Award of Merit, and Bob Wright is the 2020 recipient of the C.V. Riley Award. Congratulations, Déia, Gary, and Bob!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Troy Anderson on being elected Vice President Elect for the Physiology, Biochemistry, and Toxicology Section of the Entomological Society of America!
  • 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!