NC State Extension

Monitoring for Turf Insects

Monitoring for turfgrass insects is a pivotal part of a cost-effective and environmentally sound pest management plan for maximum effectiveness with current insecticides. Many turfgrass insect pests spend the majority of their life cycle below the turfgrass surface. The presence of these pests is often not known until severe damage is seen in the turfgrass. Frequently the initial damage is misdiagnosed as one of a large number of other turfgrass issues other than insect damage (the insects are out of sight; therefore, they are out of mind). When insect populations go unchecked over the season they will continue to grow, and managing them may require multiple insecticide applications, which can become costly not only to the golf course, but also to the environment.

Knowing which devices and techniques to use for monitoring is essential to successfully managing insect pests with fewer insecticide applications. Traps and techniques described are effective monitoring tools that can be employed by any turfgrass manager to detect insect populations. Once implemented, an active monitoring strategy requires minimal effort and can avoid damaging insect outbreaks which can save time, effort and resources in the long run.