Corn flea beetle adults are numerous this spring over the state. Although this insect is a major pest of corn, particularly transmitting diseases to sweet corn and seed corn, it also feeds on Kentucky bluegrass and can be numerous swarming onto golf course greens.
Flea beetles are black, about 1/8 inch long. They jump and fly when disturbed. Several golf courses in the state are reporting black turfgrass ataenius beetles on their greens. This beetle is black, about 1/4 inch long, and does not jump. Either beetle may appear at this time in clippings baskets of greens mowers. Itís important to realize that treatment is normally not needed for corn flea beetles although they can be treated with the insecticides listed for black cutworm if they are heavy enough to be a nuisance to golfers. Black turfgrass ataenius is treated later with an application to control the grubs.