Sugarcane Beetles in Turf


The sugarcane beetle belongs to the family Scarabaeidae. The beetle is dull black, about 12 inch long, and has small punctures along the abdomen which make up vertical stripes. The forelegs are designed for digging and have four projections per leg. Larvae of this beetle are C-shaped grubs. Third instar larvae (fully developed) are creamy white, may reach 114 inches long and have a red head capsule.

Chemical Control

The use of synthetic pyrethroids such as Talstar, Menace, etc. (bifenthrin), Scimitar or Battle (lambda-cyhalothrin), Deltagard (deltamethrin), Tempo (cyflutrhin) and others do kill the adults and reduce their abundance. Application late in the day is probably most effective given their night time feeding habits.

Written By

Photo of Dr. Rick BrandenburgDr. Rick BrandenburgExtension Specialist (Peanuts & Turf) & Department Extension Leader (919) 515-8876 rick_brandenburg@ncsu.eduEntomology and Plant Pathology - NC State University
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