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Publication #ENY-300

Insect Pest Management on Turfgrass1

Eileen A. Buss2

Turfgrass is grown in many environments and for different uses, such as home lawns, parks, athletic fields, cemeteries, rights-of-way, golf courses, sod farms, and pastures. The intensity of turfgrass management largely depends on the particular species or variety of grass and its intended use.

Several insects and mites feed on grass, but not all of them cause economic or aesthetic damage. Many are harmless, some are beneficial, and some are pests. Only a few cause significant damage and need immediate control. Keep in mind that insects are only one of many potential causes for thin or brown grass. Diseases, nematodes, drought, and nutritional disorders can also be damaging. Correct identification of the problem can save money and prevent unnecessary pesticide applications.

The biology and management of the most important pests of turfgrasses in Florida are described in this publication. Pesticides labeled for insect control in turfgrass are listed in Table 1. Information regarding formulations is described in Table 2. In general, healthy turf is less vulnerable to pests and can recover faster from an infestation. Avoid overusing soluble nitrogen fertilizers, mow at the correct height for the grass species, reduce thatch, and avoid over-watering to minimize pest habitat. Check every 7 to 10 days for pest activity, especially in "hot spots" where damage tends to reoccur.

Armyworms

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Figure 1), is the most common armyworm species in Florida. Caterpillars first skeletonize the grass blades and later create bare spots.

Figure 1. 

Fall armyworm.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

The caterpillar is greenish when small, dark brown when mature, and can reach up to 1½ inches in length. It has a light midstripe on its back with darker bands on either side. The midstripe ends in an inverted "Y" on the head. Pupation occurs in the soil. Adult moths are brown with a wing span up to 1½ inches. Eggs are laid on leaf blades or almost any object near lawns. They are laid in clusters covered with grayish, fuzzy scales from the body of the female moth.

Despite its name, the fall armyworm can damage turfgrass in the spring. They overwinter as pupae in the Gulf Coast region of the United States, and the moths migrate northward each spring, reaching the northern states in the fall (thus their name). Larval feeding occurs uniformly over a larger area, rather in patches. Larvae feed any time during the day or night, but are most active early in the morning or late in the evening.

Monitor by mixing 1 TBSP of liquid dishwashing soap in 1 gallon of water; pour the solution onto 4 square feet near the damage. Insects will crawl to the surface if present. Examine several suspected areas. Adults fly to lights at night.

Bermudagrass Mite

The bermudagrass mite, Eriophyes cynodoniensis (Figure 2), is tiny (about 1/130 inch long), and just visible with a 15- to 20-power hand lens. It is creamy white in color, somewhat wormlike in shape, and has 2 pairs of legs.

Figure 2. 

Bermudagrass mite.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Bermudagrass is the only host for this mite species. The cultivars FloraTex, Midiron and Tifdwarf are resistant, but Tifway and other varieties are susceptible to the mite. The leaf tips of infested grass yellow slightly and internodes and leaves are shortened. The mite causes a characteristic type of damage: the grass blades turn light green and curl abnormally. The internodes shorten, tissues swell, and the grass becomes tufted (called “witches brooming”) so that small clumps are noticed. Large areas of grass may die and become infested with weeds. Damage is worse during hot, dry weather and when the grass is stressed.

One generation develops in 5 to 10 days. The eggs are deposited under the leaf sheath and after hatching, the mites molt twice before reaching adulthood. All life stages (eggs, nymphs, adults) live under the leaf sheath. Mites may disperse on the wind, other insects, or grass clippings. Infestations usually develop in the taller grass (rough areas, around sand traps, along canals, fence rows, etc.), so mow as close as practical (i.e., scalp the infested turf), collect and destroy grass clippings from infested areas.

Cutworms

Several species of cutworms (e.g., black or granulate cutworms) (Figure 3) occur in Florida, but seldom are serious pests in turfgrass.

Figure 3. 

Granulate cutworm.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Larvae usually dig a burrow in the ground or thatch (or use an aeration hole) and emerge at night to chew off grass blades and shoots. Damage may appear as circular spots of dead grass or depressed spots that look like ball marks on golf greens.

Larvae are mostly hairless, have 3 pairs of true legs and 5 pairs of fleshy prolegs on the abdomen. Most cutworms curl up when disturbed. Moths are generally dull-colored with wing spans up to 1½ inches. Eggs are laid randomly on leaf blades, and hatch within 10 days. Three to seven generations may occur each year.

Monitor using a soap flush, as described for armyworms.

Fire Ants

Imported fire ants, Solenopsis spp., are small, aggressive ants that build rounded nests or mounds that can be as large as 2 or 3 feet across. However, in sandy soil the mound does not maintain its shape. Imported fire ants occur throughout Florida, infesting over 30 million acres. Their mounds can damage mowing, harvesting, or electrical equipment.

Figure 4. 

Red imported fire ant.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Imported fire ants are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and are reddish-brown to black. They are social insects, and can have single queen (having up to 240,000 individuals per colony) or multiple queen colonies (having up to 500,000 individuals per colony). Colonies have at least one queen ant, winged males and females (virgin queens), workers, and brood (eggs, larvae and pupae). In heavily infested areas, single queen colonies may have 40-150 nests per acre, and multiple queen colonies may have 200-800 nests per acre.

There are two species of imported fire ants. The black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri, was imported to the United States in 1918 or earlier. This ant now occupies only small areas in northern Alabama, northern Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Figure 4), was inadvertently introduced in the early 1930s and since that time has spread widely. This aggressive ant presently infests more than 340 million acres in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. The red imported fire ant creates large mounds in turfgrass and inflicts painful bites and stings to people, pets, livestock, and wildlife.

For more information, see Imported Fire Ants on Lawns and Turf (ENY-226) (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu /LH059).

Ground Pearls

Ground pearls, Margarodes spp. and Eumargarodes sp. (Figure 5), are related to mealybugs that attack the roots of bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass, but prefer centipedegrass. They occur throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and up the east coast into North Carolina.

Figure 5. 

Ground pearls.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Ground pearls suck juices from plant roots, which makes irregular patches of grass look unhealthy. Grass yellows, browns, and dies, especially in hot, dry weather. Weeds tend to invade infested areas.

Clusters of pinkish-white eggs, covered in a white waxy sac, are laid in the soil from March to June. Tiny crawlers attach to roots and enclose themselves with a hard, yellowish to gray-brown, globular shell. These "pearls" (also called cysts) range in size from a grain of sand to about 1/16 inch. They may occur as deep as 10 inches in the soil. The adult female is wingless, 1/16 inch long, pink in color, with well developed forelegs and claws. Adult males are rare, tiny, gnat-like insects. One generation may last from 1 to 2 years.

No management strategies, including insecticides, are currently available for ground pearls. Minimize plant stress and maintain proper fertility and soil moisture to help grass tolerate the damage.

Hunting Billbug

The hunting billbug, Sphenophorus venatus vestitus (Figure 6), is an under-recognized pest and its damage is often misdiagnosed. Zoysia and bermudagrass are preferred hosts, but Bahia, St. Augustine and centipede grasses are also attacked.

Adults beetles are about 3/8 inch long and typically weevil-like in appearance with a short, fairly broad, recurved snout. They are gray to black but are often coated with soil. Several billbug species occur in Florida, but they can be distinguished by the pattern on their pronotum. Hunting billbug has a Y-shaped marking, with a parenthesis-shape on either side. The larvae are 3/8 inch long when mature and are legless. The body is white with a tan head capsule.

Figure 6. 

Hunting billbug adult and larva.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Adult billbugs chew small holes in the grass stems near the crown and deposit eggs in some of them. Larvae hatch in 8 to 10 days and feed inside the grass stem and crown area. Eventually, larvae go into the soil and feed on the roots. Because larvae do not move far, small, irregular areas of dead grass develop that resemble dollar spot disease. The larvae occur 1 to 3 inches deep in the soil among roots and runners. Pupation occurs in the soil. One generation develops in eight to 10 weeks, but all life stages are present year-round throughout the state. Injury is more pronounced during extended dry weather than when ample rainfall or irrigation is available.

To determine if billbugs are causing the problem, inspect the root zone. A non-chemical control option is to overseed in the fall with an endophytic ryegrass. Adults do not feed or lay eggs in endophytic turfgrass, which quickly reduces the infestation.

Mole Crickets

Three exotic mole cricket species (tawny, southern, and short-winged; Scapteriscus spp.) are significant pests in Florida. The native northern mole cricket is rarely a pest. Bermudagrass, bahiagrass, and centipedegrass are often attacked.

Tawny (Figure 7 ) and shortwinged mole crickets are herbivorous and consume all parts of the grass plant. The southern mole cricket is a predator and scavenger. All three species tunnel through the surface layer of the soil, causing considerable damage to the grass roots. The tunneling also loosens the soil so that the grass is often uprooted and dries out.

Figure 7. 

Tawny mole cricket.


Credit: E.A. Buss
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

The front legs are flattened and adapted for digging. Tawny and southern mole cricket adults grow to be 1½ inches long, whereas the shortwinged mole cricket adults only reach 1 inch. The tawny mole cricket is a lighter, creamy brown color, and the southern is grayish to dark-brown and usually has four distinct light spots on its prothorax (the area immediately behind the head). The two species can also be distinguished by their dactyls (digging claws): the southern has a U-shaped space between them, while the tawny has a V-shaped space. The short-winged mole cricket also has a U-shaped dactyl spacing.

In north and central Florida, egg laying begins in March with a peak in May. Eggs hatch in 20 to 25 days, and emergence is essentially complete by late June. Nymphs feed and mature through the summer, molting five to eight times, and adults begin to appear in the fall. Tawny mole crickets overwinter mostly as adults, southern mole crickets mostly as large nymphs. There is only one generation per year in north and central Florida.

The tawny mole crickets life cycle is similar in south Florida, although oviposition and egg-hatch occur a few weeks earlier than farther north. The southern mole cricket has two generations a year in south Florida; egg laying occurs in early spring and again in summer. Generations of shortwinged mole crickets are not discrete. Egg laying occurs year around, with a peak in late spring or summer and a lesser peak in winter. Most mole cricket tunneling occurs at night, with most activity a few hours after dusk and again just before dawn.

Monitor using a soap flush early in the day. Southern and tawny mole cricket adults are attracted to light, especially in the spring. Nematodes, especially Steinernema scapterisci (NematacS®), are effective at reducing mole cricket populations.

Scales/Mealybugs

Three grass scales occur in Florida: the Rhodesgrass mealybug, Antonina graminis, the Bermudagrass scale, Odonaspis ruthae, and a white armored scale, Duplachionaspis divergens. These are not very common, but can occasionally cause damage.

The Rhodesgrass mealybug (Figure 8 ) body is round and dark brown, but is covered with a white, cottony secretion that appears like tufts of cotton on the grass. It prefers Rhodesgrass, Johnsongrass, bermudagrass, and St. Augustinegrass. They infest the crown, nodes or leaf axils, not the leaves. Females deposit 300-600 eggs in a cottony ovisac without mating (no males exist). The crawlers disperse and begin feeding under a leaf sheath at a node. A white waxy sac, roughly spherical, is secreted around them. After settling, the insects will not move again. Sooty mold may be present. Infested grass slowly loses vitality and later appears to be suffering from drought. Injury is most severe during extended hot, dry periods.

Figure 8. 

Rhodesgrass mealybugs.


Credit: E.A. Buss
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

The Bermudagrass scale (Figure 9) adult female is oval, white and approximately 1/15 inch in diameter. This scale prefers taller grass, such as in golf course roughs, especially if those areas are heavily thatched and shaded. They are also found around sand traps, along fence rows, and other such areas.

Figure 9. 

Bermudagrass scale on bahiagrass rhizome.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Life cycles of the Rhodesgrass mealybug and Bermudagrass scale range from 60 to 70 days, and there are five generations per year in north Florida and continuous generations from Orlando south.

In addition, a new white armored scale has become established and common in Florida. Duplachionaspis divergens (Figure 10) was first detected as a new continental record in Florida in 2002, and has been intercepted in Alabama and Texas. Adult females lay on average 130 eggs each, and may have nine generations per year. The potential economic impact of this pest is uncertain, but it has been detected on several species of grasses (Poaceae), including Miscanthus spp., St. Augustinegrass, bahiagrass, and zoysiagrass.

Cultural control of these scale insects includes collecting and destroying grass clippings.

Figure 10. 

Duplachionaspis divergens on zoysiagrass.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Southern Chinch Bug

Southern chinch bugs, Blissus insularis (Figure 11), suck the juices from St. Augustinegrass at or just below the soil level. Injured plants look stunted, yellowed, wilted, or dead. Yellowish to burnt-brownish patches are often first noticed along sidewalks or in poorly-irrigated areas.

Figure 11. 

Southern chinch bug.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Chinch bug adults are about 1/5 inch long, black with white patches on wings, which are folded over the back. Young nymphs are reddish-orange with a white band across the back. Body color darkens and becomes black as nymphs reach adult size.

Activity is reduced in winter in northern Florida, but all stages are present year-round in most of the state. Eggs are laid in leaf sheaths or crevices and cracks in nodes and other protected places. Each female chinch bug lays an average of 300 eggs during her lifetime, and adults can live up to two months. In the summer months, the eggs hatch in seven to 10 days. The nymphs pass through five nymphal instars, requiring four to five weeks to reach adulthood. Chinch bugs have at least three generations a year in north Florida and seven to 10 in south Florida.

To monitor, first part the yellowing or declining grass to look for moving insects on plants and in thatch. Insert a metal can with both ends cut out near damaged turf. Fill the can with water and wait 5 minutes for chinch bugs to float to the top. Examine at least 3 or 4 places.

Another monitoring option is to vacuum-sample areas of declining turfgrass using a power vac or battery-powered, handheld DustBuster. Push the opening of the vacuum down into the thatch in several areas, then empty the filter and look for chinch bugs.

Cultural controls include reducing the amount of water soluble nitrogen fertilizer used. Mow at the recommended height for St. Augustinegrass. Read St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns (ENH-5) for more information. Minimize thatch buildup. Monitor and spot treat the damaged area and a 5 foot area surrounding it, if necessary. 'Captiva' is one of the only currently resistant St. Augustinegrass cultivars in Florida.

Twolined Spittlebugs

The twolined spittlebug, Propsapia bicinta (Figure 12), is the most common leafhopper-like insect to damage turfgrasses, especially bermuda, St. Augustine, centipede, bahia, crab, Johnson, and orchard grasses. It also feeds on many crops, ornamentals (especially holly), and weeds. Spittlebugs are present throughout the entire state, but they are more abundant in north and northwest Florida.

Figure 12. 

Two-lined spittlebug.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Nymphs and adults both suck plant juices through their straw-like mouthparts. Infested turf wilts, purple-colored streaks develop up some grass blades, sometimes the turf turns yellow and eventually brown, and the blades curl. Heavy infestations may kill, wither, or reduce the growth of turfgrasses.

Nymphs may be yellow, orange, or white, and are covered by a frothy mass of spittle. Adults are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, black with two reddish-orange lines across the wings. Eyes are dark red.

Eggs are laid at the base of the grass in the thatch, in hollow grass stems or behind the leaf sheaths. There are four nymphal instars, and usually two generations per year. The first generation develops in about two and a half months. Eggs laid by second generation adults overwinter, and depending upon temperature and preciptation, most hatch from late March to late April. The first generation adults are abundant in June. The adult population peaks again in early August to early September.

Most of the spittle masses are not visible, as they are usually located near the soil surface or in the thatch. Spittlebugs require high-humidity conditions for optimum development. Thatch contributes to these conditions. Follow approved practices regarding mowing, fertilizing and irrigating to reduce thatch buildup. If a thatch problem exists, dethatching or verticutting will reduce spittlebug problems.

Tropical Sod Webworm

Tropical sod webworm, Herpetogramma phaeopteralis, larvae (Figure 13) are gray-green, and have brown spots on each segment. Mature larvae can be about 3/4 to 1 inch in length. Larvae remain curled up in the soil during the day and feed at night. Newly hatched larvae skeletonize the grass blades, while older larvae chew on grass blades near the soil surface.

Figure 13. 

Tropical sod webworm.


Credit: D.J. Shetlar, Ohio State University
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Damage begins in small patches of short-clipped grass, about 1 to 3 inches in diameter. The grass may look ragged, and irregularly-shaped, larger brown patches may form. Small, green frass can be seen on the ground.

Sod webworm adults are small, tan to gray moths with a wingspan of 3/4 to 1 inch. They do not cause damage. Moths hide in shrubs and other sheltered areas during the day, begin flying at dusk, and lay clusters of 6-15 eggs on grass at night. Eggs hatch about a week later. Larvae progress through seven or eight instars. They pupate on the soil surface and emerge as adult moths in seven days. The life cycle from egg to adult requires five to six weeks at 78°F and 12 weeks at 72°F.

This pest is most active from April through November, but may occur year-round in southern Florida. Three generations occur in northern Florida and four generations in southern Florida. Use a soap flush to monitor for damaging populations.

White Grubs

White grubs (larvae of scarab beetles) are sporadic problems of turfgrass in Florida. However, certain species can be very damaging in coastal regions. At least five common genera occur in Florida. The masked chafers, Cyclocephala spp., are most frequently encountered, and Tomarus spp. are the second most common. Populations of Strategus antaeus (the ox beetle), Phyllophaga spp. (May/June beetles), Euphoria sepulcralis (a day-flying flower beetle), and Ataenius spp. are less common.

Grubs feed on the roots of all turfgrass species. They occur at or just below the soil-thatch interface. Mild damage may make the turf look yellowish, which could be misdiagnosed as a nutrient deficiency or disease. Severe damage results in large areas of dead turf because of lack of roots. Damage can be masked if the turf is frequently irrigated, but if drought or another stress affects the infested turf, the grass will quickly die. Damage from mature grubs is most pronounced during late summer and early fall.

The larvae are fat-looking grubs shich lie in C-shaped positions (Figure 14). They are whitish in color with dark areas at the rear, three pairs of legs, and a tan to reddish-brown head. The adults are scarab beetles.

Figure 14. 

White grub.


Credit: J.L. Castner
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Depending on the species, the larvae range from 3/8 to 2 inches long when mature, and rest in a C-shaped position. Development through one generation may take six months to a year in StateplaceFlorida. As an example, the southern masked chafer, Cyclocephala lurida, has two generations per year in central StateplaceFlorida. The eggs are laid in the soil usually during April or May, 1 to 2 inches below the surface. The grubs feed on the grass roots until mid- to late summer, and pupate in the soil in August and September. Adults emerge in September and October, mate, and lay eggs. The larvae then hatch, feed during the winter months, and pupate in early spring. Tomarus spp. have a one-year life cycle. Phyllophaga spp. have 1-2 generations each year, and tend to be pests in ornamental plant beds or on tree roots. Ataenius has at least two generations per year. Development times for some of these pests take longer farther north because the temperatures are cooler.

To monitor, watch for adult scarab beetles flying at night near lights. To monitor white grub populations, cut 2-3 inches deep in a 1 foot square area of damaged grass. Lay the grass back, check the quality of the roots, and look for grubs in the soil.

When turf is easily pulled from the soil with little evidence of roots snapping and some grubs are present, it is likely that the grubs are responsible. To be more sure that grubs are the problem, cut three sides of a 1-foot-square piece of sod about 2 inches deep at the edge of one of the off-color areas and lay the sod back. See if the grass roots are chewed off, and sift through the soil and thatch looking for grubs. Check several places in the turf.

Additional Information

For more information, please refer to these UF extension publications:

Insecticides Used in the Urban Environment: Mode of Action (ENY-282)

Tables

Table 1. 

Insecticides registered for use on turfgrass in Florida.

Insect

Chemical Name

Notes

Ants, Imported Fire

Baits:

Abamectin

Fenoxycarb

Fipronil

Hydramethylnon

Indoxacarb

Pyriproxifen

Spinosad

S-methoprene

Contact insecticides:

Acephate2

Bifenthrin

Carbaryl4

Deltamethrin

Fipronil

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Thiamethoxam

Scatter granules around the edge of the nest, not on top, for a mound treatment. Ants take the bait into the colony and feed the treated oils to each other, which results in colony death. Some baits work within 48 hours, some take a month.

Beetles (adults)

Acephate

Bifenthrin

Carbaryl4

Cyfluthrin

Deltamethrin

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Adult beetles in the soil are not usually targeted for control, unless they are on the soil surface or making mounds. Hatching larvae are more vulnerable to insecticides. Adult billbugs make small notches on grass stems. The hunting billbug is the primary species in bermudagrass and zoysiagrass in Florida. Adults are active at night, so apply treatments later in the day, if necessary.

Billbugs (Larvae)

Preventive:

Clothianidin

Halofenozide

Imidacloprid

Thiamethoxam

Curative:

Chlorantraniliprole

Bifenthrin

Carbaryl4

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Thiamethoxam

Trichlorfon

Billbug larvae are legless (white grubs have legs). They are present year-round in most bermudagrass and zoysiagrass varieties. Bermudagrass and zoysiagrass are preferred hosts, but resistant varieties do exist. Overseeding with endophytic ryegrass helps reduce populations.

Caterpillars

(armyworm, cutworm,

grass loopers, tropical sod webworm)

Acephate2

B. t. var. kurstaki

Bifenthrin

Carbaryl4

Clothianidin

Cyfluthrin

Deltamethrin

Diflubenzuron

Halofenozide

Indoxacarb

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Permethrin

Spinosad

Trichlorfon

Treat at the first sign of damage. Reduced-risk products like B.t., halofenozide, and spinosad are more effective against younger caterpillars. Caterpillars tend to become a problem in newly established turf, or in early fall, especially if the turf was fertilized heavily in late summer. Most feed at night. Turf can usually recover from caterpillar damage.

Chinch Bugs, Southern

Bifenthrin

Clothianidin

Cypermethrin

Deltamethrin

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Permethrin

Thiamethoxam

Trichlorfon

Some populations have become resistant to several insecticide chemical classes including pyrethroids. Use a high rate of insecticide with a wetting agent to penetrate thatch. Avoid using low rates in locations with reduced efficacy and combination products may also help reduce resistant populations. Rotate modes of action. Spot treat when possible. Reduce thatch thickness to minimize habitat and avoid over-fertilizing.

Ground Pearls

None available

Ground pearls are often found by the nematode assay lab when they look for nematodes in soil samples. Properly fertilize, irrigate, and mow at the correct height for the turf species, to keep the turf growing ahead of the damage.

Mites

Bifenthrin

Deltamethrin

Fluvalinate

Mow as low as possible, collect, and remove grass clippings to reduce the mite population. Using a wetting agent in the spray should improve coverage. Grass may outgrow damage if properly fertilized and irrigated. A repeat application may be necessary.

Mole Crickets

Acephate2

Bifenthrin

Clothianidin

Cyfluthrin

Deltamethrin

Fipronil

Imidacloprid

Indoxacarb

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Permethrin

Thiamethoxam

Trichlorfon

Baits:

Carbaryl4

Chlorpyrifos3

Indoxacarb

Beneficial nematodes:Steinernema scapterisci

It is important to get insecticides into the soil, either by slit-injection, pre- or post-treatment irrigation (see product labels), or by using a wetting agent in the spray solution. Apply insecticides as late in the day as possible. Mole crickets are deeper in the soil during the day and closer to the soil surface at night. Use soap flushes to determine mole cricket age and density. Baits are most effective later in the summer, when older nymphs come onto the soil surface at night. Do not get baits wet. Beneficial nematodes attack large nymphs and adults, and do not damage plants. They are compatible with most insecticides, but not nematicides, to provide long-term mole cricket suppression.

Scales and Mealybugs

Bifenthrin

Clothianidin

Deltamethrin

Imidacloprid

Thiamethoxam

These insects are occasional turf pests, but they tend to be very damaging to groundcovers and ornamentals grasses. Cut infested leaf blades low and remove clippings to minimize infestations.

Spittlebugs, Twolined

Bifenthrin

Carbaryl4

Cyfluthrin

Deltamethrin

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Treat when most of the spittlebugs have become adults (June to September). Mow and irrigate before application to allow insects to penetrate the thatch. Spittlebugs cannot survive drought conditions. Avoid over-irrigation of turf to minimize infestation.

White Grubs

Preventative:

Chlorantraniliprole

Clothianidin

Dinotefuran

Halofenozide

Imidacloprid

Thiamethoxam

Curative:

Carbaryl4

Trichlorfon

Nematodes:

Heterorhabitis zealandica

Steinernema glaseri

Apply preventative treatments when adult scarab beetles are laying eggs or when eggs start to hatch (April to June in most of Florida, for most species).

1 Many others are available. No endorsement of products is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed products implied. Read container label carefully for use directions, application techniques, irrigation requirements, worker protection information, and precautions. Be sure the formulation of pesticide you use is labeled for use on turfgrass.

2 When using acephate, check pH of spray water and adjust to 5.5 - 6.0 when pH is above 7.0. Acephate is not registered for use on residential turf except as a fire ant mound treatment. Acephate will still be registered for broadcast application to turf on golf courses and sod farms.

3 Dursban not labeled for residential use.

4 Sevin (carbaryl) insecticide is going through re-registraton with the EPA. Until this process is completed, all home lawn uses had to be removed from the labels of liquid Sevin products. Commercial lawn and ornamental users are still labeled.

Table 2. 

IRAC Mode of

Action Classification

Chemical Classes

Mode of Action

Active Ingredients / Chemical Names / Trade Name Examples1

1A

Carbamates

Acetylcholine esterase inhibitor

Carbaryl (Sevin)

1B

Organophosphates

Acetylcholine esterase inhibitor

Acephate (Orthene), chlorpyrifos (Dursban), diazinon, dimethoate (Cygon), malathion, trichlorfon (Dylox)

2A

Cyclodiene

organochlorines

GABA-gated chloride channel antagonists

Chlordane, lindane

2B

Phenylpyrazoles

GABA-gated chloride channel antagonists

Fipronil (Chipco Choice, Chipco TopChoice, MaxForce FC, Over N Out)

3

DDT, pyrethroids,

pyrethrins

Sodium channel modulators

Bifenthrin (Talstar, Wisdom), beta-cyfluthrin, cyfluthrin

(Tempo), cypermethrin (Demon), deltamethrin (DeltaGard), cyhalothrin, lambda-cyhalothrin (Scimitar), esfenvalerate,

fenpropathrin, fenvalerate, permethrin (Astro), resmethrin

4A

Neonicotinoids

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists /

antagonists

Acetamiprid (TriStar), clothianidin (Arena), dinotefuran (Safari), imidacloprid (Merit), thiamethoxam (Meridian)

5

Spinosyns

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists

(allosteric) - not group 4

Spinosad (Conserve)

6

Avermectins

Chloride channel activators

Abamectin (Ascend, Clinch, Varsity Fire Ant Bait)

7A

Juvenile hormone analogs

Juvenile hormone mimics

Hydroprene, kinoprene, methoprene (Extinguish)

7B

Fenoxycarb

Juvenile hormone mimics

Fenoxycarb (Award Fire Ant Bait)

7C

Pyriproxyfen

Juvenile hormone mimics

Pyriproxyfen (Distance Fire Ant Bait, Distance IGR, Esteem)

8A

Alkyl halides

Compounds of unknown or non-specific mode

of action (fumigants)

Methyl bromide

11B2

B. t. subspecies kurstaki

Microbial disruptors of insect gut membranes

Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki (Dipel)

15

Insect growth regulator

Inhibitor of chitin biosynthesis

Diflubenzuron (Dimilin)

18A

Diacylhydrazines

Ecdysone agonists / molting disruptors

Halofenozide (Mach 2), tebufenozide (Confirm)

18B

Azadirachtin

Ecdysone agonists / molting disruptors

Azadirachtin (Azatrol, Azatin)

20A

Hydramethylnon

Mitochondrial complex III electron transport

inhibitors (Coupling site II)

Hydramethylnon (Amdro)

22

Oxadiazine

Voltage-dependent sodium channel blockers

Indoxacarb (Advion, Provaunt)

28

Anthranilic diamide

Acelepryn depletes calcium from insect muscles disrupting normal contraction

Chlorantraniliprole (Acelepryn, Calteryx)

Specific products are listed for example only. Neither inclusion of products no omission of similar alternative products in this publication is meant to imply any endorsement or criticism.

Footnotes

1.

This document is ENY-300 (IG001), one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First printed: October 1993. Revised: May 2009. Please visit the EDIS Website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Eileen A. Buss, associate professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. All chemicals should be used in accordance with directions on the manufacturer's label. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.


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U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.