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Sugar Cane Beetles

September 10, 2010
by Rick Brandenburg

Over the past few weeks I have been getting lots of calls and emails concerning the adult of the sugar cane beetle. This is a pest that is becoming more and more abundant in the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern portion of the U.S.  We believe the adults cause much of the damage at two distinct times of year, the spring and fall.  We saw adult activity increase in late August and expect it to continue through October.  They feed near the base of the turf plant and the damage can be quite severe.  I believe that control can be successfully accomplished but you must target the adult stage at this time of year.  There will be no grubs until next summer. Many products will probably work against this beetle including Sevin, Battle, Scimitar, Tempo, Talstar, Deltagard and others.  However, I would question the effectiveness we will see when using a “grub” insecticide this fall.  More information on this pest is available at

Rick Brandenburg

Turfgrass Entomologist