The sugarcane beetle has been a significant pest of many crops, including sugarcane, corn, sweet potato, and rice, for more than 100 years. It is a native species commonly found in turfgrass. While low numbers of beetles in an area generally are not regarded as pests, increasing numbers of adult beetles have been causing damage to turfgrass stands throughout the Southeastern U.S. The adult sugarcane beetle is about ½ in. long, and is black with small punctures along the elytra, or wing covers, that create long, lengthwise stripes. Its first pair of legs have four serrations that make the beetle a strong digger. As a result, adults are known to damage asphalt roofs, door gaskets, and other soft structural elements when lights attract them to buildings. The larvae of sugarcane beetles are C-shaped grubs, which are similar in appearance to other white grub species. Third-instar larvae can reach up to 1¼ in. long and are identified by their creamy white bodies with reddish-brown head capsules.
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Published on Oct 20, 2022