Integrated pest management for billbugs in orchardgrass

Dec 03, 2013
This shows two billbug (Sphenophorus spp.) larvae (right and bottom) and bluegrass billbug (S. parvulus) adult (center) on the head of a penny. Scale bar = 1 mm. Credit: Entomological Society of America

Two weevil species, the bluegrass billbug and the hunting billbug, have caused widespread economic damage to orchardgrass, a cool season grass that is cultivated throughout the United States as a high-value forage crop.

The cryptic habits of these species, combined with a lack of effective systemic insecticides, make billbug control extremely difficult in orchardgrass. However, a new article in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management called "Ecology, Taxonomy, and Pest Management of Billbugs (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Orchardgrass of Virginia" presents an overview of the biology of orchardgrass and its associated billbug pests, and reviews the control options for these pests.

Described by Linnaeus in 1753, orchardgrass is a cool season bunchgrass used for forage throughout the world. Billbug feeding can destroy orchardgrass, depending on the size of the billbug population and weather conditions. In addition to causing direct injury to the plant, feeding can also provide the opportunity for infection by rot-inducing bacteria and fungi.

Although a number of cultural, biological, and chemical control methods have been suggested for billbugs in turfgrass and corn, there has been little focus on control in orchardgrass. Therefore, further investigations are warranted to verify the life histories of the bluegrass and hunting billbugs on orchardgrass, and feeding studies are needed to determine whether these species regularly feed on orchardgrass and, if so, how likely they are to become pests. Finally, the current measures available for control of billbugs in orchardgrass are extremely limited. New management tools, insecticides or otherwise, are required to effectively control this pest.

Explore further: How to control maple tree pests using integrated pest management

More information: esa.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/esa/jipm/2013/00000004/00000003/art00002

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Biology and management of the green stink bug

Sep 26, 2012

The green stink bug is one of the most damaging native stink bug species in the United States. Stink bugs feeding on cotton, soybeans, tomatoes, peaches, and other crops can result in cosmetic damage as well ...

An old insect pest reemerges in organic orchards

Sep 28, 2012

The apple flea weevil, a sporadic insect pest in the early 1900s, has reemerged as a severe pest in organic apple orchards in Michigan, where outbreak population levels have been observed since 2008, and ...

Slug ecology and management in no-till field crops

Mar 14, 2012

As acreage of row crops managed with conservation tillage increases, more growers are encountering slugs, elevating their importance as crop pests. Slugs can eat virtually all crops, and they are challenging ...

Recommended for you

India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures

10 hours ago

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...