Blog Archives

Ground-Nesting and Digger Bees

The University of Kentucky Department of Entomology receives several calls a year from growers concerned about ground-nesting or digger bees in their gardens. There are many different species of these bees, and while their sizes can vary, they are generally

Posted in Landscapes, Lawn & Turf

Green June Beetle–“The Other” White Grubs

Most fall problems with white grubs are due to root-feeding by Japanese beetles and/or masked chafer grubs. Severe damage results in irregular patches of rootless dead grass that can be pulled up like pieces of loose rug. In contrast, activity

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Scolia dubia Swarming Lawns

There have been quite a few reports last week of people with concern over wasp activity on lawns. The wasp of concern is Scoila dubia. It doesn’t have a common name but ‘grub hunter’ would describe its role. Many people

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Cicada Killer Wasps

Cicada killer wasps are busy during July and August, capturing prey and bringing it to individual burrows to feed their developing larvae. Although intimidating, these harmless insects can be destructive along walkways and on golf courses where their excavations bring

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Grass Buzzers – Green June Beetles, Blue-Winged Wasps, and Cicada Killers

Green June Beetle Bumble bee-like buzzing and ungainly flights are recognizable characteristics of green June beetle adults (Figure 1) as they patrol in search of mates and acceptable egg-laying sites. Swarms of beetles will fly over turf and pastures that

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Time for Preventive White Grub Control

Larvae of masked chafers and Japanese beetles are responsible for most of the root damage to turfgrass in Kentucky. They are flying now and rainfall provides easy burrowing for females entering the soil to lay their eggs. Soil moisture is

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Clover Mites Like Lush Lawns

Clover mites are accidental invaders that can be a temporary nuisance during early spring. These very small, reddish brown creatures appear only as moving dark spots to the naked eye. Sheer numbers, plus the resulting red-brown stain left behind if

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Bumble Bee Discord

Two reports of bumble bee attacks last week were reminders that these industrious insects do not like a lawn mower passing over or too near their nests, and they will come out to register complaints. Most of our common bumble

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Lawn Ants

Several species of ants are common landscape residents. They nest in places that meet their needs: suitable soil type and drainage, convenient food sources, and in some cases, sheltering rocks or logs. We most commonly share greenspace with field ants,

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Japanese Beetles Aren’t Finished

Japanese beetle activity in some parts of Kentucky this year have resembled scenes from the 1980s when this insect rolled across the state (Figure 1). Although the peak of adult feeding has passed for 2017, the last of the adults

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Turf-cruising Green June Beetles and Bluewinged Wasps

Green June beetles (Figure 1) and bluewinged wasps (Figure 2) are beginning to cruise turf areas now. Green June beetle grubs feed on organic matter in the soil. These grubs do not feed on plant roots, but they can uproot

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Cicada Killer Wasps

Large, but mild-mannered, female cicada killer wasps (Figure 1) are buzzing across Kentucky intent on: Digging underground burrows and Provisioning themselves with paralyzed cicadas that will be food for their grub-like larvae. The wasps will focus on these tasks over

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Ground Nesting Bees Are Important Pollinators

About 70% of the bee species in the U.S. raise their young in underground tunnels. These ground-nesting pollinators select loose, well-drained soil in open, sunny sites. Tunnel entrances are holes about the diameter of a pencil.  Entrances are surrounded by

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Cicada Killer Wasps

Cicada killer wasps are active across Kentucky during July and August.  Females are intent on their tasks of: 1) digging underground burrows and 2) provisioning them with the paralyzed cicadas that will be food for their grub-like larvae. These insects

Posted in Lawn & Turf

Beneficial Wasps around Lawns and Gardens

Several species of wasps patrol landscapes by air or ground. A few nest in loose, well-drained soil in gardens, flowerbeds, and along sidewalks. Usually, they have warning coloring and intimidating behaviors, but they do not attack without provocation. If left

Posted in Lawn & Turf