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Book: Proceedings of the Second International Turfgrass Research Conference
Published by: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America



  1.  p. 421-423
    Proceedings of the Second International Turfgrass Research Conference

    Eliot C. Roberts (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-573-4


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Biology and control of the ground pearl in relation to turfgrass infestation1

  1. C.A. Kouskolekas and
  2. R.L. Self


The ground pearl Margarodes meridionalis Morr., (Homoptera: Coccoidea: Margarodidae), is a subterranean scale insect that infests the roots of lawn grasses and is of major concern to homeowners.

Research on biology and control of ground pearls throughout the United States has led generally to inconclusive results. Investigations on this pest were conducted in Alabama in from 1968 through 1971. Some aspects of its biology were clarified but, in general, its life history remains incompletely understood. The number of ground pearls varies considerably even within small infested areas and this is a handicap to several lines of research.

The quantitative relationship between number of ground pearls present and damage to grass is unknown. The direct damage to lawns frequently is masked by several factors. Proper lawn care, primarily through irrigation and fertilization, helps the grass overcome the damage but the beneficial effect may be only temporary.

Available information indicates that no insecticide has been consistently effective. In Alabama, applications of Thimet + Zinophos, Dasanit, and Dyfonate at 13.5 kg/ha reduced the populations more than other insecticides tested. The relative susceptibility of the developmental stages to insecticides is unknown; therefore, timing of insecticidal applications for maximum effectiveness has not been established. There are promising approaches to chemical control and these are worthy of investigation. Additional index words: Scale Insect, Insecticides, Turfgrasses.

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Copyright © 1974. Copyright 1974 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc. and the Crop Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA