Fact sheets - Turf Insects
Armyworms and cutworms are immature moths that feed on turfgrass leaves and stems. These caterpillars chew off young plants just above the ground and can be highly destructive.
Billbugs are weevils or snout beetles that rarely fly. Billbugs eat turfgrass roots just below the thatch layer. Heavy billbug infestations can kill grass, with peak turfgrass injury occurring in mid to late summer.
Black grass bugs are native to western North America. Monoculture reseeding of rangelands may contribute to outbreaks and severe plant damage. Black grass bug control with insecticides is often not practical to apply or economically feasible.
Chinch bugs are occasional pests of turfgrass in Utah. Chinch bugs feed on a variety of turfgrass species including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, the fescues, bentgrass and zoysiagrass.
The common crane fly is a newly detected turf pest in Utah that was found in golf course greens. A few species of crane fly have larval stages that feed on turfgrass.
Cranberry girdler is also known as the subterranean webworm. As the name implies, this webworm is more commonly found in turfgrass crowns and roots than above ground.
Japanese beetle was initially detected in Orem, Utah, in July 2006. Eradication efforts have been highly successful. Adults have a broad host range (over 300 plant species) and can cause significant damage.
Necrotic ring spot and summer patch are two fungal diseases with similar above ground symptoms. Both pathogens mainly affect the root system and stolons of Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass and tall fescue.
Sod webworms are the most widely recognized turfgrass insect pests in Utah. Sod webworm larvae are the damaging life stage and feed on turfgrass blades.
Good cultural practices and prevention of stress are critical to keeping turfgrass healthy and pestfree. Good turfgrass management is dependent on optimal timing of cultural and pest control treatments.
White grubs are the larval stage of scarab beetles. Several different kinds of white grubs are found in Utah. White grubs prefer to feed on turfgrass roots. Healthy turfgrass can mask white grub feeding.