Managing Turfgrass Pests: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Managing Turfgrass Pests

2nd Edition

By Thomas L. Watschke, Peter H. Dernoeden, David J. Shetlar

CRC Press

519 pages | 279 Color Illus.

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Written by three of the top professionals in the turfgrass field, Managing Turfgrass Pests, Second Edition brings together hundreds of solutions and best practices to help you manage turfgrass weeds, diseases, and insects more effectively. Since the publication of the bestselling first edition, advances in pest-resistant turfgrass cultivars and pest control products have led to significant changes in the ways pests are managed. This revised and updated second edition reinforces those management tactics that are still relevant and covers new approaches that have been introduced since the first edition.

The book discusses the concept of integrated pest management, incorporating cultural, biological, and chemical control measures. In particular, the authors emphasize the philosophy of minimizing pests through well-defined and well-implemented cultural systems. Rather than simply relying on a pesticide solution for control, they explain how to fine-tune cultural practices to better address the question of why the pest is present in the first place. Once these cultural practices are in place, any pesticide that is still required will be much more effective at controlling the pest.

New in This Edition

  • Revised and updated descriptions of economically important turfgrass pests
  • Revised and updated cultural approaches to turfgrass pest management
  • Revised and updated biological methods of turfgrass pest management
  • Revised and updated chemical control of turfgrass pests
  • More than 200 new color illustrations

Packed with photographs, this full-color book provides updated information on best practices and control measures for turfgrass pest management. It also explains how to integrate various management strategies to ensure quality and functional turf. Throughout, the authors offer practical recommendations to help you optimize the competitiveness of your turfgrass against the pests that inevitably become part of any ecosystem.


"Drs. Watschke, Dernoeden, and Shetlar are considered the ‘three tenors’ of turfgrass pest management; this second edition combines their unmatched expertise in the biology and management of turfgrass weeds, diseases, and insects. The up-to-date information presented in this second edition translates fundamental turfgrass science research into applicable turfgrass management solutions. This second edition of Managing Turfgrass Pests should be in a reachable location on the shelf of every turfgrass and green industry practitioner."

—Michael Fidanza, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University

"This text provides current information on the management of weeds, diseases, and insects. In each section, the authors introduce key concepts (e.g., understanding the conditions favorable to the pest and monitoring techniques). A brief description of each pest is included, including the life cycle. One of the strengths of the book is that the authors then provide several concise suggestions for managing the pest, encouraging the incorporation of appropriate cultural strategies that may enable the turf to withstand some pest pressure. … [This book] should be considered a valuable addition to any turf manager's reference library."

—Patricia Vittum, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts

Praise for the Previous Edition

"As an educator, I found the book to be useful because it pulls together the three major areas of turfgrass pest management into a single source. There are many individual texts available on turfgrass weeds, diseases, and insects, but their combined cost makes them impractical for a survey course that covers all three areas. The book also would make a useful addition to the personal libraries of turfgrass professionals and should find a ready audience in the golf course and lawn care industries."

HortScience, Vol. 30, No. 7, December 1995

"This is one of the few books I have come across that incorporates in the one volume the three sections of turfgrass pests—weeds, insects and diseases."

—D. Howard, New Zealand Turf Culture Institute

Table of Contents

Weeds and Their Management


Managing Turfgrass Weeds

Weeds as Indicators

Natural Reasons for Voids

Management Reasons for Voids

Steps in Weed Control Strategy

Managing Summer Annual Grasses





Fall Panicum


Managing Winter Annual Grasses

Poa annua

Managing Perennial Grasses and Sedges

Creeping Bentgrass

Tall Fescue



Rough Bluegrass





Managing Summer Annual Broadleaf Weeds



Prostrate Spurge





Florida Pusley

Managing Winter Annual Broadleaf Weeds

Common Chickweed


Shepherd’s Purse

Corn Speedwell


Managing Biennials

Yellow Rocket

Wild Carrot

Black Medic

Managing Perennial Broadleaf Weeds

Wild Garlic


White Clover

Common Plantain

Buckhorn Plantain

Mouse-Ear Chickweed

Ground Ivy

Sheep Sorrel

Canada Thistle


Curly Dock

Bull Thistle

Heal All

Ox-Eye Daisy


Thyme-Leaf Speedwell

Creeping Speedwell

Wild Violet






English Daisy


Dollar Weed

Weed Management: Integrated Pest Management

Chemical Control Recommendations

Further Reading

Turfgrass Diseases and Their Management


Monitoring Disease and Establishing Thresholds



Environmental Conditions and Use of Cultural Practices to Manage Diseases

Biological Control of Turfgrass Diseases

Winter and Early Spring Diseases

Microdochium Patch (aka Pink Snow Mold or Fusarium Patch)

Pythium Snow Blight

Typhula Blight or Gray Snow Mold

Yellow Patch or Cool-Temperature Brown Patch

Diseases Initiated in Autumn or Spring That May Persist Into Summer


Ascochyta and Leptosphaerulina Leaf Blights

Brown Ring Patch or Waitea Patch

Dollar Spot

Large Patch

Leaf Spot, Melting-Out, and Net-Blotch (Formerly Helminthosporium Diseases)

Necrotic Ring Spot

Powdery Mildew

Pythium-Induced Root Dysfunction

Rapid Blight

Red Thread and Pink Patch

Spring Dead Spot

Stripe Smut and Flag Smut

Take-All Patch

Yellow Tuft or Downy Mildew

Diseases Initiated During Summer That May Persist Into Autumn

Brown Patch and Leaf and Sheath Spot

Copper Spot

Dead Spot

Fairy Ring

Gray Leaf Spot

Leaf Spot, Melting-Out, Net-Blotch, and Red Leaf Spot

Localized Dry Spot

Pythium Blight

Root Decline of Warm-Season Grasses


Slime Mold

Southern Blight or Sclerotium Blight

Summer Patch

Superficial Fairy Ring

White Blight or Melanotus White Patch

Yellow Ring

Seedling Diseases or Damping-Off

Bacterial Diseases

Bacterial Wilt

Bacterial Decline

Plant Parasitic Nematodes

Virus Diseases

St. Augustine Decline and Centipede Mosaic

Blue-Green Algae, Moss, and Black-Layer

Blue-Green Algae (aka Cyanobacteria)



Collecting and Sending Diseased Samples to a Lab

Parasitic Nematode Assay

Fungicides Used to Control Turfgrass Diseases

Professional Fungicide Use Considerations

Types of Fungicides

Nontarget Effects of Fungicides

Fungicide Application



Turfgrass Insect and Mite Management

Goal of Insect and Mite Management

Pest Management Process

Pest Identification

Insects and Mites Associated with Turf: An Introduction

Classes of Arthropods

Pest Life Cycles

Insect Metamorphosis

Mite Life Cycles

Zones of Activity (Turf, a Unique Habitat)


Tools and Strategies for Timing of Controls

Selecting Appropriate Controls

Pest Management versus Pest Eradication

Integrated Pest Management

Monitoring in IPM

Control Options

Cultural Controls

Biological Controls

Chemical Controls

Insecticide Groups: Chemical Categories and Modes of Action

Using Pesticides to Manage Insects and Mites in Turf

Insecticide/Miticide Affects on Nontarget Animals

Equipment for Making Insecticide/Miticide Applications

Leaf- and Stem-Infesting Insect and Mite Pests

Bermudagrass Mite

Clover Mite

Banks Grass Mite

Winter Grain Mite


Sod Webworms (= Lawn Moths): Introduction

Bluegrass Webworm

Larger Sod Webworm

Western Lawn Moth

Tropical Sod Webworm

Grass Webworm

Cutworms and Armyworms: Introduction

Black Cutworm

Bronzed Cutworm


Fall Armyworm

Lawn Armyworm

Other Turf-Infesting Caterpillars

Striped Grassworms (=Grass Loopers)

Fiery Skipper

Stem- and Thatch-Infesting Insect and Mite Pests

Chinch Bugs

Hairy Chinch Bug (and Common Chinch Bug)

Southern Chinch Bug

Insecticides and Application

Twolined Spittlebug

Rhodesgrass Mealybug (=Rhodesgrass Scale)

Bermudagrass Scale

Billbugs: Introduction

Bluegrass Billbug

Hunting Billbug

Annual Bluegrass Weevil (=Hyperodes Weevil)

Cranberry Girdler

Burrowing Sod Webworms

European Crane Fly, Common (or Marsh) Crane Fly, or


Frit Fly

Soil-Inhabiting (e.g., Thatch- and Root-Infesting) Insects

White Grubs: Introduction

Maximizing Control of White Grubs with Insecticides

Black Turfgrass Ataenius

Asiatic Garden Beetle

European Chafer

Green June Beetle

Japanese Beetle

Northern Masked Chafer

Southern Masked Chafer

Oriental Beetle

Sugarcane Beetle and Sugarcane Grub

May and June Beetles, Phyllophaga

Mole Crickets: Introduction

Monitoring Spring Adults

Sampling for Summer Nymphs

Tawny Mole Cricket

Southern Mole Cricket

Short-Winged Mole Cricket

Ground Pearls

Nuisance Invertebrate, Insect, and Mite Pests


Slugs and Snail

Spiders and Tarantulas



Sowbugs and Pillbugs (Isopods)




Bigeyed Bugs


Ground Beetles

Rove Beetles


March Flies (Bibionids)

Ants: General

Fire Ants

Cicada Killer

Nuisance Vertebrate Pests

Common Grackle



Pocket Gophers

Skunks and Civet Cats


Ninebanded Armadillo

Further Reading


About the Authors

Dr. Thomas L. Watschke is presently professor emeritus of turfgrass science at the Pennsylvania State University, where he was on the faculty for 35 years. Dr. Watschke has been honored nationally by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the American Sod Producers Association, Division C-5 (ASA, CSSA) Grau Award, and has been accorded fellow status by both the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. He is recognized throughout the world for his teaching and research accomplishments in weed science, plant growth regulation, and water quality. He has made presentations in France, Australia, Spain, England, Scotland, and Canada and is active in the International Turfgrass Society.

Dr. Peter H. Dernoeden is a professor of turfgrass science in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland. Dr. Dernoeden has published more than 100 scientific journal articles and several books, including Creeping Bentgrass Management, Second Edition. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA). He received the Fred V. Grau Turfgrass Science Award from the Turfgrass Science Division of CSSA. He was also the recipient of The Dean Gordon Cairns Award for Distinguished Creative Work in Agriculture from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland. In 2012, he received the Colonel John Morley Distinguished Service Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

Dr. David J. Shetlar is a professor of urban landscape entomology at The Ohio State University. Dr. Shetlar has authored and coauthored numerous trade magazine articles, research journal articles, books and book chapters, and extension factsheets and bulletins. Dr. Shetlar, who goes by the professional nickname of the "BugDoc," produces the popular P.E.S.T. Newsletter in association with the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association. He was one of the recipients of an Annual Leadership Award presented by Lawn and Landscape and Bayer in 2005. He also received the Educator & Public Service Award from the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association in 2010.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Zoology / Entomology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General