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Scouting Watch

August 22, 2008

Armyworms have been reported damaging turf in Metamora, near Peoria. These caterpillars feed on the grass blades, moving like an army across the turf. They typically eat all the grass blades in a home lawn over two nights. Although the damage is impressive, the grass blades grow back quickly from the undamaged crowns. An application of spinosad (Conserve), a pyrethroid, or other labeled insecticide is effective in preventing more damage.

Armyworm larva on bluegrass.

Aphids have been reported damaging turf in Normal, north of Bloomington. These are probably greenbugs, which are pinhead-sized and green. They will be found feeding on the grass blades. Damaged turf is orangish brown, killed by toxins injected by the aphids into the leaf tissue. Damage occurs first in the shade of trees or buildings but spreads across the turf area. Because greenbugs are serious pests of wheat, sorghum, and other small grains in southern states, they are resistant to many insecticides. Control is obtained with the application of an insecticide not used on field crops, such as acephate (Orthene) or insecticidal soap.

Greenbugs on bluegrass.

Zimmerman pine moth is susceptible to permethrin (Astro) application, particularly in southern Illinois, at this time. Application in northern Illinois is more effective around the end of the month. There is a several week window of control while the newly hatched larvae crawl around on the trunk before entering an overwintering site under loose bark.

(Phil Nixon and Kevin Black)

Author: Phil Nixon


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