Black Turfgrass Ataenius Pest
Type of damage:
The larval stage damages turfgrass by feeding on roots, resulting in irregular dead patches. The damaged area appears to be drought-stressed, even where there is sufficient irrigation. Symptoms may resemble those of turfgrass root diseases such as summer patch, take-all patch, and Pythium root rot. Extensive root-feeding sometimes allows the turf to be rolled back like a carpet. Digging by vertebrate predators, such as crows, raccoons, and skunks is a common indication of high grub populations.
White, C-shaped, up to ¼” long, with 6 legs Large, reddish pads on the posterior end
The adult black turfgrass ataenius beetle is 0.2 inch long, shining jet black, and has parallel grooves on the wing covers. Adults can be seen at any time of day, especially on golf course greens and tees.
Adult overwinters in debris
- Emerges in spring to lay eggs – common on greens
1 st generation larvae mature in early summer and pupate
- Adults emerge in July to lay eggs
2 nd generation larvae mature in late summer and pupate
- Adults emerge in fall & migrate to wooded areas over