Agriculture: Turfgrass Pest Management Guidelines

Plant Bugs

  • False chinch bug: Nysius spp.
  • Weed bug: Arhyssus crassus
  • White-marked fleahopper: Spanogonicus albofasciatus
  • Description of the Pest

    Plant bugs are sucking insects. The anterior portion of their forewings is leathery and the posterior portion is membranous. The false chinch bug and weed bug are occasional nuisance pests. Both species are a pale gray color as adults and nymphs and feed on weedy hosts; the false chinch bug is just under 0.25 inch, while the weed bug is just over 0.25 inch. When winter rains permit heavy growth of vegetation, these bug populations build up to large numbers. Later, as the vegetation dries down, the bugs migrate from the wild hosts and invade residential areas, including lawns and houses.

    White-marked fleahopper adults are about 0.125 inch long, blackish or grayish, and have white markings on the wings, which are folded over the back. Their long antennae, white markings, larger size, and sucking mouthparts distinguish them from flea beetles. Fleahoppers can be observed by running your hand over the turfgrass or dichondra lawn. If they are present, they will hop about; some will land on the hand or sidewalks where they can be observed more readily.

    Susceptible Species

    All turfgrass species and dichondra.

    Damage

    Outbreaks of plant bugs are not common, but when they do occur, they can be damaging to turfgrass. All species of plant bugs feed via sucking mouthparts, so damaging populations can be expected to cause yellowing and stunting of the turf. Turfgrass is sometimes treated to prevent false chinch bugs and weed bugs from migrating into dwellings.

    Management

    Treat for plant bugs if populations are high enough that damage may occur.

    Common name Amount per 1000 sq ft** Ag Use
    REI‡
    NonAg Use
    REI‡
    (Example trade name) (hours) (hours)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Always read the label of the product being used.
     
    A. ACEPHATE
      (Orthene Turf, Tree, and Ornamental Spray) 1.2–2.4 oz 24 Until dry
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1B
      COMMENTS: For use on golf courses and sod farms only. Nontarget effects likely on other soil-dwelling organisms. Odorous. Highly toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
     
    B. CARBARYL*
      (Sevin SL) Label rates 12 Until dry
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1A
      COMMENTS: Nontarget effects likely on other soil-dwelling organisms. Highly toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
     
    C. BIFENTHRIN
      (Talstar) Label rates Until dry
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3A
      COMMENTS: Not for use on sod farms or in commercial seed production. May cause water quality issues. Highly toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
     
    D. CYFLUTHRIN
      (Tempo 20WP)* 0.2468 oz (7 grams) Until dry
      MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3A
      COMMENTS: Highly toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
    ** Apply in 25 gal water/1000 sq ft
    * Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
    1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee).
    Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Agricultural use applies to sod farms and commercial seed production.
    Indicates use is not listed on label.
    Text Updated: 09/09
    Treatment Table Updated: 12/16