Adult Insects

Masked Chafer Adult

The Chafer Beetle is the adult stage of our common White Grub. Their emergence from the soil generally occurs from late June through mid-July with mating flights usually peaking around July 4. The adult beetles are attracted by house lights and will often be seen flying erratically about porch lights during the evening. These flights are frequently monitored with the aid of light traps. This information is helpful in timing the hatch of the larvae.

approximate size: 1/2" long

Billbug Adult

The Billbug is the common pest in Zoysia lawns. They can also infest Kentucky bluegrass lawns. They lay their eggs in early summer. After hatching the larvae migrate to the thatch layer where they feed on the roots of the grass. These larvae often do significant damage to lawns, and are very difficult to control once established. The adults are often seen in the fall on concrete surfaces adjacent to turf areas.

approximate size: 5/16-7/16" long

Chinchbug Adult

In our area, the Chinchbug is very common only on Zoysia lawns. During late summer dry periods, populations of this pest can rapidly explode to damaging levels. It is common to see Chinchbug damage mistaken for drought stress in late summer. This pest is not difficult to control, but is tiny and easily overlooked in a lawn. The nymph stage of this insect does most of the damage. They are reddish in color, and must be separated from the thatch over a light colored background to be observed.

approximate size: 1/8" long

Sodwebworm Moth

This is the adult stage of the Sod webworm. The adults are usually seen when they are scared up from the lawn by the mower. They fly a short zig-zag pattern and go back down to the turf. The adults pose no threat to the turf, but their presence in large numbers would be a good indicator that a potential exists for a high larvae population.

approximate size: 3/4-1" wingspan


The Armyworm is a surface feeding caterpillar that is often the first caterpillar to appear in the spring. They occur in cool season grasses, and their appearance often coincides with good growing conditions for the lawn. They frequently go unnoticed during the spring growing season. Birds feeding are often a good indicator that these, or similar caterpillars are present in the lawn. The presence of fecal pellets is also a good sign of this caterpillar. They are easy to control with an application of an appropriate insecticide.

approximate size: 1 1/2" long


The Cutworm is another caterpiller common late spring to early summer pest in cool season lawns. Their diagnosis and treatment is almost identical to that of the armyworm. This pest can occur in huge numbers, and like other surface feeders, their damage is often mistaken for drought or heat stress. Again, the presence of fecal pellets is a good indicator of this insect. Bird activity on the lawn also picks up significantly when this pest occurs. There are several species of cutworms. The Variegated cutworm is the most damaging in Kansas.

approximate size: 1 1/2" long

Winter Grain Mite

Winter Grain Mites are a common mite in our area. They are also a sucking type feeder. As the name implies, they occur in the winter, with populations peaking in February. They are black with bright red legs. The adults also have a red spot on their abdomen. These mites can damage lawns. They are especially troublesome under leaves, or a prolonged snow cover, where they continue to feed throughout the winter. They are easy to control, but often overlooked until spring, when the lawn fails to green up as expected.These pest are very tiny and difficult to observe.

approximate size: 1/32" long

Clover Mite

Clover Mites are also a common in area lawns. Their feeding is done by sucking juices from the grass blade. They are most numerous in the spring. They tend to be attracted to warm areas, and frequently congregate around foundations of homes, where they can severely damage the turf. While seeking warmth, these tiny mites can invade the house through the smallest cracks and crevices. These pests are brownish in color, and feature two relatively long forelegs. They are easily controlled with an insecticide application.

approximate size: 1/32" long


Greenbugs are a type of aphid that occasionally occurs on turfgrass. Their damage usually appears in the fall.They are a sucking type feeder. They are very small, and easily overlooked in the lawn. Their color varies from yellow to green, depending on maturity. They can be difficult to control, as they are on the plant, and not in contact with the soil. A liquid insecticide, with thorough plant coverage, is most effective on these pests.

approximate size: 1/16" long


Chiggers are a small red mite. They pose no threat to the grass but are a nuisance to humans because of the itchy bites inflicted by their larvae. They are most common in weedy areas in summer, however, do occur in home lawns and are controlled in that situation by periodic applications of insecticides or miticides.

approximate size: 1/32" long


Although not a grass problem, ticks are a common pest during the summer for warm-blooded animals. They are receiving more attention these days because of the growing concern about Lyme Disease. Ticks are the main carriers of this disease. Ticks may be controlled by periodic applications of appropriate insecticides.

approximate size: 1/8-3/16" long


Fleas are also a common pest in summer. Their ability to reside inside the home make them a bit more troublesome. The newest treatments for fleas focus on a systemic chemical that disrupts their life cycle. This is achieved by the flea feeding on pets treated with these new products. Controlling fleas in the home lawn is possible, and, as long as indoor populations are in check, fleas are usually not a serious problem.

approximate size: 1/16-1/8" long