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Control of White Grubs with Beneficial Nematodes on School Athletic Fields 2000

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Project Leaders: Jody L. Gangloff-Kaufmann, NYS IPM Program, Jillanne Burns, Suffolk County CCE, Tamson Yeh, Nassau County CCE.

Cooperators: Al Arnold, Hauppauge School District, Gary Crowell, Center Moriches School District, Jesse Martin, Suffolk CCE.

Introduction: White grubs are possibly the most important insect pests of athletic field turf in New York schools. While patchy and sporadic in nature, grubs can cause serious damage to turf, and to the untrained eye, this damage might resemble other cultural or disease problems. White grubs are commonly managed with conventional insecticides, such as chlorpyrifos and carbaryl. As public awareness focuses on the risks associated with pesticides, and chemicals like chlorpyrifos are phased out of use, athletic field managers are forced to seek alternatives. This trend has provided the collaborators with an opportunity to demonstrate the use of beneficial nematodes as an alternative control for white grubs. In addition, proper sampling, monitoring, identification, and use of thresholds are fundamental to best management programs for such pests.

Objectives:

  1. To teach proper grub sampling and identification.
  2. To instruct practitioners in the use of economic thresholds.

To demonstrate the use of beneficial nematodes (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) for control of white grubs.