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Getting the Bugs Out

Adapted from www.cropsolutions.fmc.com and the University of Florida IFAS Extension

There is nothing more irritating than pests on the turf and plants you are charged to maintain. They always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times and cause enough damage to really get under your skin. While it may seem like you are fighting a losing campaign, being able to identify each bug at least gives you some ammunition for the fight. So with that in mind LSMP is taking a closer look at turf and plant pests, what they look like, and where they are most commonly found.






Alfalfa Weevil


Alfalfa Weevil

  • Common Name(s): Alfalfa Weevil
  • Scientific Name(s): Hypera postica
  • Crop Hosts: Alfalfa, yellow sweet clover.
  • Identification and Life Cycle: The beetles are grayish-brown to nearly black. They are about 1/8- to 1/4-inch long with a medium-sized beak projecting downward from the front of the head. The weevils overwinter as adults. In the spring the females lay eggs on the alfalfa stem. There are 3 to 4 larvae instars over a period of 29 to 58 days. The larvae become fullgrown about the first cutting and drop to the soil where they spin a cocoon and emerge as adults in 10 days. The adults can live for 10 to 14 months. There is one complete and sometimes a partial second generation per year.
  • Affected Areas: Found in alfalfa-growing areas in western, midland and eastern United States.






Aphids


Aphids

  • Common Name(s): Spotted Alfalfa aphid, Rosy apple, Blue aphid, Pea aphid, * Cotton/melon aphid
  • Scientific Name(s): Therioaphis maculata, Dysphis plantaginea, Acyrthosiphon kondoi, Acyrthosiphon kondoi, Acyrthosiphon pisum, Aphis gossypi
  • Identification and Life Cycle: Most aphids are green, red or brown. Their soft, pear-shaped bodies can measure up to nearly 1/2-inch in length. They can be recognized by their small heads and long bodies, as well as a pair of cornicles (secreting tubes) that project from the back of their abdomen. Eggs that had been laid in the winter finally hatch in the spring, delivering numerous wingless female species. These females give birth to other wingless females until a generation of winged females returns to the original plant. In the fall, these winged females produce wingless males and egg-laying females, which mate, and begin the cycle again.
  • Affected Areas: Found throughout North America.






Armyworms


Armyworms

  • Common Name(s): Armyworms
  • Scientific Name(s): Noctuidae of the order Lepidoptera
  • Crop Hosts: Many vegetables, agronomic crops and grasses. Prefer to feed on foliage but may attack the stems, fruit or even tubers of certain host plants.
  • Identification and Life Cycle: The moths known as armyworms belong to the family Noctuidae of the order Lepidoptera. The family name refers to the nocturnal nature of the adults. While the adult stage causes no direct damage, the immature worm stage feeds, often voraciously, on plants. They are active from spring until fall. Most armyworms go through five larval stages within 14 to 21 days (species and temperature dependent). As they grow, their ability to consume plant tissue increases and they can chew large holes in leaves or strip an entire plant. After maturity the worms move to the soil, dig to about 1” deep, and pupate. After seven to 14 days, they emerge as adults. The entire life cycle ranges from 24 to 36 days, with an average of 28 to 30. In warm climates there can be many generations per year, usually peaking June through September.
  • Affected Areas: Southeastern US






Bermudagrass Mite


Bermudagrass Mite

  • Common Name(s): Bermudagrass Mite
  • Scientific Name(s): Eriophyes Cynodoniensis
  • Crop Hosts: Coarse varieties of bermudagrass such as common, ormond, and St. Lucie
  • Identification and Life Cycle: Extremely small – unable to be seen with the naked eye - the mites are yellowish-white, somewhat worm-like in shape, and have two pairs of legs. They are active primarily during late spring and summer, but may be active most of the year the further south you travel. They need 5-10 days to complete their cycle from egg to adult, so there are multiple generations each year. The mites tend to develop between the grass stem and blade sheath, which physically protects them from pesticide contact. They remain for most of their life beneath the grass sheath, and large numbers in all stages of development may be found under infested sheaths. Nearly 100-200 mites (eggs, immatures, and adults) can occur under one leaf. They cannot survive on bermudagrass seeds.
  • Affected Areas: Bermudagrass in the southern US.






Fire Ants


Fire Ants

  • Common Name(s): Imported Fire Ants
  • Scientific Name(s): Solenopsis richteri Forel, and Solenopsis invicta Buren
  • Crop Hosts: Sandy soil, rotting logs, around trees and stumps, under pavement and buildings
  • Identification and Life Cycle: Aggressive, reddish brown to black ants that are 1/8 to 1/4 in long. They construct nests which are often visible as dome-shaped mounds of soil, sometimes as large as 3 feet across and 1 1/2 feet in height. In sandy soils, mounds are flatter and less visible. Fire ants usually build mounds in sunny, open areas such as lawns, pastures, cultivated fields, and meadows, but they are not restricted to these areas. Mounds or nests may be located in rotting logs, around trees and stumps, under pavement and buildings, and occasionally indoors. When their nests are disturbed, numerous fire ants will quickly run out of the mound and attack any intruder. These ants are notorious for their painful, burning sting that results in a pustule and intense itching, which may persist for 10 days. Infections may occur if pustules are broken. Some people have allergic reactions to fire ant stings that range from rashes and swelling to paralysis, or anaphylactic shock. In rare instances, severe allergic reactions cause death.
  • Affected Areas: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona and Virginia.






Grasshopper


Grasshopper

  • Common Name(s): Grasshopper, Migrating, Clear-Winged
  • Scientific Name(s): Melanoplus sanguinipes, Camnula pellacida
  • Crop Hosts: Various species attack nearly all cultivated and wild plants.
  • Identification and Life Cycle: Grasshoppers pass the winter in the egg stage. The eggs are laid below the soil surface primarily in uncultivated ground such as field margins and roadsides. The young hoppers do not differ from the adult except in size, and they lack wings. There are usually five to six nymphal instars that require 40 to 60 days to reach the adult stage. The adults continue to feed until the first heavy frost. Eggs are deposited during the latter part of September.
  • Affected Areas: The migratory grasshopper is widespread and generally very destructive. The clear-winged grasshopper is not quite as destructive and common in western states.






Green Peach Aphid


Green Peach Aphid

  • Common Name(s): Green Peach Aphid
  • Scientific Name(s): Myzus persicae
  • Crop Hosts: Stone fruit, potatoes, sugarbeets, garden and flowering plants.
    Identification and Life Cycle: This aphid overwinters as eggs, and in the spring about the time of peach blossoming they hatch to form young, pale yellowish-green aphids. On becoming full-grown they begin giving birth to living young. There can be 2 to 3 generations on the peach. The adults acquire wings and migrate to garden plants in the late spring. With cold weather, the females fly to the peach, where they give birth to true sexual females. These mate with males that fly over from summer host plants and lay the overwintering eggs.
  • Affected Areas: Found throughout the United States.






Leafroller


Leafroller

  • Common Name(s): Filbert Leafroller, Fruittree Leafroller, Red-Banded Leafroller, Oblique-banded Leafroller
  • Scientific Name(s): Archips rosanus, Archips argyrospila, Argyrotaenia velutinana, Choristorenra rosaceana
  • Crop Hosts: Nearly all kinds of deciduous fruits and many forest trees.
    Identification and Life Cycle: The overwintering fruit tree leafroller eggs are closely plastered on the twigs and covered with a smooth varnish-like coating that protects them. In the spring the eggs hatch. The young worms crawl and feed on the leaves for about a month. The mature 3/4-inch long, pale green larvae pupate within the folded or rolled leaves. The mottled moths emerge, mate and lay eggs and produce one generation. The red-banded species overwinters as a pupa and there can be two or three generations, depending upon region.
  • Affected Areas: Found in all apple growing areas in the United States. The red-banded species is found only in the eastern areas. Oblique-banded and Filbert species are primarily found in western areas.






Japanese Beetle


Japanese Beetle

  • Common Name(s): Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica Newman
  • Scientific Name(s): Insecta: Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae
  • Crop Hosts: More than 300 plant species including turf and ornamental plants.
  • Identification and Life Cycle: The Japanese beetle is a widespread and destructive pest in many parts of the US. Adult Japanese beetles feed on foliage, flowers, and fruits. Leaves are typically skeletonized or left with only tough network of veins. The larvae, commonly known as white grubs, primarily feed on roots of grasses often destroying turf in lawns, parks, and golf courses. Currently the Japanese beetle is the most widespread pest of turfgrass.
  • Affected Areas: New Jersey, many states east of the Mississippi River (except Florida), as well as parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.






Lawn Caterpillars


Lawn Caterpillars

  • Common Name(s): Lawn Caterpillars
  • Scientific Name(s): Malacosoma
  • Crop Hosts: Turfgrass
  • Identification and Life Cycle: Mature larvae can be 3/4 to 1 inch in length, and they pupate in the thatch or on the soil surface. Fall larvae can be green or brown, and mature larvae are 11?2 inches long with four pairs of prolegs (fleshy legs on abdomen). As larvae grow, light stripes appear along the length of the body and dark spots appear on the top of each segment. Young caterpillars, or larvae, injure turfgrass by chewing notches along the edge of the leaves. This creates a ragged appearance that may be hard to notice at first. Mature caterpillars eat a lot before they pupate and consume patches of turfgrass down to the crown. Several caterpillar species can be turfgrass pests, including the tropical sod webworm, the fall armyworm, and the striped grass looper.
  • Affected Areas: Throughout the US






Spotted Cucumber Beetle


Spotted Cucumber Beetle

  • Common Name(s): Southern Corn Root Worm, Spotted Cucumber Beetle.
  • Scientific Name(s): Diabrotica undecimpunctata
  • Crop Hosts: Corn crops as well as a large number of plants.
    Identification and Life Cycle: This insect overwinters as an adult. The head is black and it has 12 conspicuous black spots on the wing. The adults deposit between 200 to 1200 eggs around the base of the corn plant. The young larvae hatch, bore into the roots and become full grown by July when they pupate in the soil. Generally, there are two generations and adults can live for more than 300 days.
  • Affected Areas: It is widely found throughout the United States, but is particularly destructive in the southern states.






Twolined Spittlebugs


Twolined Spittlebugs

  • Common Name(s): Twolined Spittlebugs
  • Scientific Name(s): Prosapia bicincta
  • Crop Hosts: All turfgrass species, with centipedegrass being the most susceptible. Adults also feed on ornamental plants, especially hollies.
  • Identification and Life Cycle: Adult twolined spittlebugs are black with red eyes and legs and have two orange stripes across their wings. They are about 1/4 inch long. The nymphs are yellow or creamy in color with a brown head). They are surrounded by a mass of white frothy spittle that they excrete for protection. Both adults and nymphs suck juices from the grass with their piercing-sucking mouthparts. But, damage is caused primarily by the adults through the injection of phytotoxic salivary substances. Adults are most active in early morning and hide near the soil surface during the heat of the day.
  • Affected Areas: Florida, and surrounding Southern States.
    Shortwinged Mole cricket
  • Affected Areas: Shortwinged Mole cricket, Southern Mole Cricket, Tawny






Mole Cricket


Mole Cricket

  • Scientific Name(s): Scapteriscus abbreviatus Scudder, Scapteriscus borellii Giglio-Tos, Scapteriscus vicinus Scudder, Insecta: Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae
  • Crop Hosts: Feeds on turf, as well as animal and plant material.
  • Identification and Life Cycle: The southern and tawny mole cricket are quite similar in appearance and biology. The shortwinged mole cricket differs in appearance because of the short wings, but also in behavior because it has no calling song and the short wings render it incapable of flight. Typically, the eggs of these three species are deposited in April-May, and nymphs predominate through August. In southern Florida, however, the shortwinged mole cricket can produce eggs throughout the year. Beginning in August or September some adults are found, but overwintering occurs in both the nymphal and adult stages. Maturity is attained by the overwintering nymphs in April, and eggs are produced at about this time. A single generation per year is normal, though in southern Florida there are two generations in southern mole crickets and an extra peak of adult flight in the summer, resulting in spring, summer, and autumn flights from the two generations (Walker et al. 1983). In both southern and tawny mole crickets, adult emergence occurs earlier in southern Florida than in northern Florida.
  • Affected Areas: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona






Whitefly


Whitefly

  • Common Name(s): Greenhouse Whitefly
  • Scientific Name(s): Trialeurodes vaporariorum
  • Crop Hosts: Vegetable and ornamental crops.
  • Identification and Life Cycle: The female deposits more than 100 eggs on the undersides of leaves attached by a short stalk. On hatching, the flat, transparent nymphs settle on the leaf and remain in this situation until they become adults. After 28 to 30 days they form the four-winged, very active adult. Both males and females fly and feed on the underside of the leaves. They live for 30 to 40 days. Under greenhouse conditions, the generations overlap and all stages can be found on infected plants at any time.
  • Affected Areas: Found throughout the United States.



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June 27, 2019, 2:01 am PDT

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