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Group Title: Bulletin
Title: Integrated pest management strategies for golf courses
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00008526/00001
 Material Information
Title: Integrated pest management strategies for golf courses
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 11 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: McCarty, L. B ( Lambert Blanchard ), 1958-
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1992
Subject: Pests -- Integrated control   ( lcsh )
Golf courses -- Maintenance   ( lcsh )
Turf management   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 10).
Statement of Responsibility: L.B. McCarty ... et al..
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: "June 1992."
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Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA6788
ltuf - AJF9712
oclc - 26389793
alephbibnum - 001746897

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Back Cover
        Page 12
Full Text

June 1992

Bulletin 279

Integrated pest management
strategies for golf courses

L. B. McCarty, D. E. Short, R. A. Dunn, G. W. Simone, and T. E. Freeman

Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida
John T. Woeste, Dean

- /

F- t

L.B. McCarty, D.E. Short, R.A. Dunn, G.W. Simone, and T.E. Freeman, Turf Specialists, Departments of Environmental Horticulture,
Entomology and Nematology, and Plant Pathology, IFAS, University of Florida.

Table of Contents
Introduction ...... ........... .......... ......... 1
Background information ....................................1
Previous Turf IM P uses ...................................2
Strategies of integrated pest management .....................2
Non-chemical strategies ............ . ...............3
Host-plant resistance ............. . ..............3
Pest-free propagation .................... ............3
Site preparation ............ .. ... ..............3
Cultural practices .................. .................4
Biological control .............. ..... ............4
Chemical pest control ................. ... .............4
Starting an IPM program ....................................5
Conclusions .............. ..............................9
References ............................................ 10
Appendix 1 .............................................. 10
Turfgrass pest identification literature .. ................. .. 10
Appendix 2 ............................................. 11
Turfgrass pest diagnostic services at the University of Florida .... 11

Integrated pest management
strategies for golf courses

L. B. McCarty, D. E. Short, R. A. Dunn, G. W. Simone, and T. E. Freeman

One of the most appealing aspects of golf is the
beauty of the course. It is the superintendent's re-
sponsibility to minimize weeds, insects, nematodes,
and diseases and to maintain an "acceptable" play-
ing condition. One method to aid in meeting these
objectives is the incorporation of a common-sense
approach of protecting the turf. This is accomplished
by gathering information, analyzing the information,
and knowledgeable decision-making. Integrated
Pest Management (IPM) is a term encompassing a
management method combining proper plant selec-
tion, correct cultural practices, monitoring of pests
and environmental conditions, use of biological con-
trol, and the judicial use of pesticides. The prin-
ciples and practices of IPM also are referred to as
Best Management Practices (BMP) and recently,
Low Input Sustainable Agriculture (LISA). Inte-
grated Plant Management, which covers all of
these methods, is a better term for turf managers.

IPM is not a new concept. IPM practices have
been in use since the birth of agriculture. Humanity
has naturally strived to use the best management
practices which encouraged plant health and pro-
duced maximum yield. The desire is to accomplish
this with minimum fertilizer, and water use along
with mechanical pest control. However, more sus-
ceptible plants and new pests have recently been
introduced. In addition, there has been an increase
in customer standards, resulting in agriculture be-
coming dependent on pesticides, a relatively new
weapon, to try and meet these goals.

Golf course superintendents experience pressure
from customers to provide "tournament" conditions
on a year-round basis, regardless of the agronomic
conditions necessary to grow grass. Players com-
monly request one-eighth inch mowing heights along
with "soft" greens with no scars or disruptions in
consistency. Many times, this demands that grasses
be grown outside their natural range of adaptability.
This, plus many other factors, has forced superinten-
dents to increase fertilizer, water, and pesticides to
maintain the grass to the player's satisfaction. Pub-
lic concerns about chemical use has been increasing
while restrictions on the availability of traditionally
used resources is also an issue. Superintendents
now need to consider incorporating and informing
the public about programs such as IPM that are be-
ing used to reduce these inputs for maintaining golf
courses. However, until golfers themselves lower
their expectations for playing conditions, superinten-
dents will continue to be pressured to accommodate

the player which is not necessarily best for the grass
or the environment.

Background information
Modern IPM concepts and practices began to de-
velop in the late 1950's with apple production and
was vastly expanded with cotton production in the
1960's. This evolved in the mid-1940's when the
modern use of pesticides began to expand. Many felt
at the time that pesticides were the "silver-bullet" or
ultimate specific weapon needed to control all pest
problems. Most traditional pest and plant ecological
studies were then abandoned along with non-chemi-
cal control alternative research efforts. This led to a
new generation of producers and scientists who had
little experience with non-chemical approaches to
pest or plant management.

This was evident when cultural practices were al-
tered because it was believed all pest problems were
now solvable with the new line of pesticides. Prac-
tices of planting susceptible crop varieties, extensive
monoculturing, increased use of fertilizers, improper
(lack of) crop rotation, improper field sanitation prac-
tices, and the introduction of plants into new regions,
all led to a sharp increase in pesticide use.

Problems from improper cultural practices and
increases in pesticide use soon began to unfold. Pesti-
cides began to reduce the number of natural enemies
(predators and parasites) of pests, resulting in the
need for new, more potent chemicals. Farming costs
also began to rise as pesticide use increased. Petro-
leum prices, a major energy component needed to
synthesize and transport most pesticides, as well as
pesticide development and registration costs, sharply
rose while food prices did not. In addition, the devel-
opment of pest resistance to certain chemicals left
many voids in the pest control programs. This,
coupled with increased concerns of pesticide effects
on the environment, has raised the principles behind
an IPM approach.

In recent years, turf managers have felt dependant
on pesticides and suffered from the lack of research
and training in the pest management area. For ex-
ample, in the early 1980's, two very effective and
relatively inexpensive pesticides, EDB (ethylene
dibromide) and chlordane, were banned from the turf
market. EDB was a highly effective soil-injected
nematicide. Since EDB was so effective and inexpen-
sive, turf management research for tolerance to
higher populations of nematodes was essentially
abandoned. Chlordane, an insecticide, was especially

useful for mole cricket control. With chlordane,
managers did not worry about trying to manage the
turf to withstand higher pest populations or use
treatments during the most susceptible point in the
insect's life cycle. However, since the loss of these
chemicals, nematodes and mole crickets have be-
come Florida's most serious turf pests. Researchers
are now trying to find alternative methods of man-
agement and control of these and other pests.

Another method of manipulating grass for better
pest resistance is through plant breeding. In the
past, turf breeders basically tried to satisfy the
golfer by developing grasses which had finer tex-
ture, greater density, and the ability to survive at
an lower mowing height. Today, turf breeders will
have to redirect their efforts by including pest resis-
tance in turf species lines. More time and research
will be necessary to solve the problems basically ig-
nored for the last 40 years.

Previous Turf IMP uses
As noted, IPM practices have not been widely
used in the turfgrass profession. One reason for
this is the lack of adequate federal and state money
available for turf researchers wishing to explore
IPM approaches. Traditionally grown crops such
as cotton, soybeans, and corn have enjoyed the ma-
jority of available grants for this type of research
and subsequently have made the greatest strides in
IPM strategies. Hopefully, turf researchers will
soon receive similar considerations from agencies
when money is available.

Only a few reports are available dealing with turf
IPM programs. One experimental IPM program in
selected urban areas in Florida has resulted in an
approximately 90 percent reduction in pesticide
application without sacrificing visual quality. Dif-
ferences were not noted between lawns sprayed only
when pests reached aesthetic thresholds compared
to lawns sprayed preventively. Results from a simi-
lar IPM scouting program in Maryland suggested
that 40 to 80 percent of the pest problems could be
eliminated by simply substituting resistant orna-
mental varieties or eliminating pest-susceptible
plants in residential lawns. The most significant
lawn problems in Maryland were low soil pH, low
soil fertility, and weed invasion.

A country club in Massachusetts has used IPM
practices to control Japanese beetle grubs. It used
sex tabs and floral lures instead of the traditional
pesticide treatment approach to attract insects into

traps. For example, during August, 47 traps were
placed in the rough and 160 gallons of beetles were
collected. The number of grubs were reduced from
50 to 75 per square foot to only one or two. Pio-
neering IPM strategies for insect management also
are being practiced on other golf courses, such as
Pine Ridge in Baltimore, and those along the Geor-
gia coast.

A pilot project dealing with incorporating tradi-
tional IPM strategies into managing golf turf was
recently completed in South Carolina. Turfgrass
Information and Pest Scouting (TIPS) was adminis-
tered on seven golf courses. Scouting was per-
formed and recommendations made to the superin-
tendents about their agronomic practices and their
judicious use of pesticides. Among the accomplish-
ments of this project was a 30 percent use reduction
in fungicides by monitoring weather parameters
and not applying chemicals until conditions were
favorable for disease development. Nitrogen use
also was reduced 35 percent without sacrificing the
quality of the golf courses by using judicious a-
mounts timed to produce maximum benefits in re-
lation to the plant's growth cycle and environment.

Strategies of integrated
pest management
Developing a strategy of using IPM requires reli-
able information about the following:

1. The total ecological situation involved with the
particular pest. Turf maintenance where the
ecological factors affecting the pest can be al-
tered to reduce its population, or the turf can be
managed to overcome or tolerate the pest.

2. The use of a monitoring system to carefully fol-
low pest trends. This determines if a pesticide
will be necessary, and if so, when it would be
most effectively applied.

3. Maintain careful records to measure IPM effec-

4. Inform the public these practices are being
implemented because golf course managers are
just as environmentally aware and sensitive as
they are.

Tactics involved with these IPM control strate-
gies can be subdivided into chemical and non-
chemical strategies. Both are equally important
in implementing a successful program.

Non-chemical strategies
The following contribute to integration of non-
chemical strategies for pest management: host-
plant resistance; pest-free propagation; site prepa-
ration; cultural practices; and biological control.

Host-plant resistance
One of the oldest means of pest control is
through careful selection and breeding of pest resis-
tant or pest tolerant plants. Man traditionally has
selected those plants which grew best or had the
highest yields, and then used them in subsequent
years. Many turfgrass varieties are the result of
this type of selection process, where a patch of turf
grew better, was denser, or had better color than
the surrounding grass. Further genetic work with
selections often has revealed certain genes for pest
resistance and/or better turfgrass characteristics.
This genetic resistance can be incorporated into a
cultivated plant to provide more effective pest con-
trol. For example, "Floratam" St. Augustinegrass
was the first commercially available variety that
was resistant to chinch bugs (Blissus spp.). On the
other hand, some plants are less resistant to certain
pests and their use must be weighed against other
desirable characteristics. For example, Ormond
bermudagrass is highly susceptible to stunt mites
(Aceria spp.) while Tifway bermudagrass is not.

Turf plant breeders have traditionally been more
concerned with improving the "playability" charac-
teristics of grasses than with breeding for pest resis-
tance. With the threat of losing many of today's ef-
fective pesticides, breeding for pest resistance will
become a higher priority. Hopefully, as today's
breeding and genetic engineering technologies
evolve, better means of transferring genes will pro-
vide turf plants with desirable playing qualities as
well as inherent pest resistance.

Pest-free propagation
One of the easiest yet often overlooked means of
preventing pest establishment in turf is by using
pest-free planting materials. The seed certification
program, which each state has, was one of the first
regulatory measures established to provide pest-free
propagation.; Each bag of seed, in order to meet cer-
tification, must provide information on purity and
germination percentages. In addition, a weed seed
listing must be provided. No noxious weed seeds
are allowed in the bags of seed. Turf managers
should take this process one step further and ensure
that all planting materials introduced contain few,
if any, pests. For example, with the limited nema-

tode control options currently available, a sod and
sprig purchaser should make every effort to assure
themselves their purchase does not bring a serious
nematode problem with it. A nematode assay of the
material before delivery can help by showing the
kinds of nematodes that are present, and if any of
them are at excessive levels. It is not realistic to
expect turf planting material to be entirely free of
nematodes, but it is reasonable to seek material that
contains few serious types and none in high num-
bers. By visually examining root systems at the
time of purchase, the buyer can determine if root
pests have been severe in the production field, thus,
preventing a high risk of damage once the material
is planted. Likewise, the turf should also be in-
spected for other pests such as weeds and fire ants.
The old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure" has never been more true than when
deciding on which planting material to use.

This same philosophy also should apply to plant-
ing in soil free of noxious pests. Soil fumigation to
control many soil-borne pests such as nematodes
and diseases should be considered in almost all cases
before turf establishment. Likewise, soil added to an
existing turf site via topdressing should be pest-free.
Do not accept unclean substitutes because of price.
This is one item of IPM that managers have control
over and would be well advised to use.

Exclusion is another non-chemical IPM strategy
that is related to pest-free propagation. It involves
keeping pests out of the region or country. However,
exclusion usually involves legally enforced stoppage
of plant pests at ports of entry. This is accomplished
by inspection, interception, destruction, and quaran-
tine of the plants. Some of today's worst turf pests
have been accidentally or intentionally introduced.
For example, many turf weeds initially were intro-
duced into the United States as experimental pas-
ture materials, or as ornamental plantings. Hope-
fully, with the more stringent quarantine laws of
today, foreign pests will remain excluded.

Site preparation
Properly preparing the planting site is an impor-
tant, yet often unrecognized, IPM step. This in-
volves planning and constructing highly utilized
areas, such as golf greens or athletic fields, with ex-
acting water management capabilities. Precise wa-
ter management is the major key to successful turf
maintenance under intense playing conditions. Dis-
ease and soil compaction are among the problems
that occur if soil saturation is allowed during intense

play. Adequate surface and subsurface drainage
must be provided so play can quickly resume after
a heavy rain without soil compaction. However,
golf greens must be able to retain adequate levels
of moisture and nutrients to avoid continuous
reapplication of them.

Other considerations for site preparation and
construction include: 1) providing adequate sun-
light and ventilation around golf greens; 2) ad-
equately sizing greens for even distribution of traf-
fic; 3) providing drainage of fairways; and, 4) pro-
viding an adequate quantity and quality of irriga-
tion. All too often, these pre-construction criteria
are neglected, causing even the most intense IPM
programs to fail, leaving members dissatisfied with
services rendered.

Cultural practices
Probably the best defense against pest invasion
is providing a dense, healthy, competitive turf.
This is achieved by using cultural practices which
favor turf growth over pest proliferation. These
practices include proper irrigation, fertilization,
mowing, aerification and topdressing. Prolonged
use of incorrect cultural practices weakens the turf,
promotes pest invasion, and often encourages ex-
cessive thatch development. Thatch not only har-
bors many insects and pathogens but also limits
pesticide efficacy while reducing the efficiency of a
watering program.

Biological control
Biological pest control uses natural enemies to
reduce pest populations to aesthetically acceptable
levels. Criteria for a successful biological control
agent include: 1) the absence of non-target effects
on desirable plants or other organisms; 2) its abil-
ity to reproduce quickly to prevent the pest from
attaining damage thresholds; 3) its persistence in
the environment, even at non-damaging pest levels;
and 4) its adaptability to the environment of the
host. The biological control agent also should be
free of its own predators, parasites and pathogens.

Pests in their native habitats are regulated
through mother nature's system of checks and bal-
ances. Predators and parasites help keep pest
populations at a relatively constant level. Problems
occur when pests are introduced into those areas
lacking these natural regulatory means. As a re-
sult, foreign pests often become epidemic since the
ecosystem is defenseless. For example, mole crick-
ets in their native South American habitat are not
considered a major problem. Other insects, nema-

todes, and fungi which attack mole crickets in South
America tend to minimize their effects. However,
when mole crickets were introduced in the United
States without the presence of these beneficial or-
ganisms, they soon reached epidemic levels and have
since become the major turf pest in the south.

If it were not for these natural biological control
agents, the world would be overrun by only a few or-
ganisms. Scientists currently are exploring the nu-
merous naturally occurring organisms in the pests'
native habitats that can be successfully transferred
to other areas. Various successes have occurred us-
ing biological control agents such as parasites,
predators or diseases to control pest organisms.

A few examples of biological control measures are
being used in turf production. Bacillus popilliae, a
bacterium commonly known to cause the milky spore
disease, has been used to control Japanese beetle
grubs. The white amur carp, a fish native to south-
east Asia, also has been recently introduced for sub-
merged aquatic weed control in golf course ponds.
Other potential agents for biological control of turf
pests include endophyllic fungi for insect control,
bacteria such as Xanthomonas species for annual
bluegrass control, various rust (Puccinia spp.) organ-
isms for nutsedge control, and several parasitic
bacteria, nematodes, and fungi for control of mole
crickets and damaging nematodes in turf. Biological
control systems are complex, not totally effective nor
always predictable. The concept of biological control
has been so widely publicized that the general public
views it as a viable and readily available alternative
for all pesticides. Unfortunately, this is not yet the
case, but is an area currently receiving much atten-
tion and hopefully will provide additional control
strategies in the future.

One underlying requirement of the use of biologi-
cal control agents is the public's willingness to accept
a certain level of pest pressure. This level of pest
pressure is necessary for the biological control agent
to have a continued food source after the pest level
has become acceptable. Thus, total pest elimination
is not feasible when integrating biological control
measures. Club members must be educated to this
fact and be willing to accept minor levels of pest
pressure for long-term success.

Chemical pest control
Not all pest problems can be solved by host plant
resistance, manipulating cultural practices in the
plant environment, or by the use of biological control
agents. In these cases, pesticides become the second

line of defense. In the IPM scheme, indiscriminate
spraying is eliminated and only practical use of pes-
ticides are employed. However, when needed, a pes-
ticide should be integrated into the system to cause
minimum damage to the naturally occurring control
agents of the pest, as well as raising minimum dam-
age to the environment. This requires extensive
knowledge of the ecology and interrelation of the
pest, the host plant, and the beneficial natural en-
emy population. Several considerations for strategic
pesticide use involve making management decisions
concerning the following:

1. Pest detection using reliable monitoring tech-
niques and establishing an aesthetic threshold.
Pest identification is a fundamental requirement
when developing an IPM program. The task of
identifying pests can both be frustrating and
time-consuming. Pest diagnosis often can be as-
sisted by having well illustrated pest literature on
site. To assist with pest identification a list of se-
lected titles is presented in Appendix 1. The
titles reflect those publications containing useful
black and white or color illustrations of key dis-
eases, insects, and weed species. Those titles
published by the Florida Cooperative Extension
Service in collaboration with the University of
Florida/IFAS are normally available through the
nearest County Extension Office. Other listed
titles must be ordered through commercial book
dealers or directly from their publisher. Even
with a good reference library, certain pest prob-
lems require laboratory analysis for identification
of quantification for threshold estimation. A list
of plant problem diagnostic services form the Uni-
versity of Florida and IFAS is presented in Ap-
pendix 2. These are accessible through the local
County Extension Office or by direct submission.
Diagnostic services can often bring clarity to diffi-
cult turfgrass problems where overlapping dis-
eases exist, nematode/disease interactions occur,
or fertility/pest interactions develop.

Trained personnel, often referred to as scouts, ex-
amine or scout the golf course on a routine basis
monitoring pest levels. Monitoring ranges from
visual inspection, sampling and analyzing soil
and plant tissue, to the use of sophisticated "high-
tech" detection techniques. Decisions based on
visible pests and symptoms can immediately be
made. When specialized tests must be run at
public or private diagnostic laboratories (e.g.,
nematode assays, detection and accurate identifi-
cation of certain viruses, species identification of
some fungi), scouts) must know how each type of

sample should be taken and handled to provide
the most useful and reliable information. They
also must know how to specifically interpret re-
sults of each test conducted.

Once pests have been identified and their infesta-
tion levels recorded, a control action must be initi-
ated at a pre-determined pest threshold level.
These threshold levels are known as economic,
damage, or action thresholds in other IPM pro-
grams. For turf managers, economic and related
threshold level terms mean little since crop yield
is not the ultimate goal, but rather involves an
aesthetic level of turf quality. An aesthetic
threshold is the limit on the amount of visual
damage a particular turf area can withstand be-
fore action is needed. Highly maintained areas
such as golf greens have a lower aesthetic thresh-
old than less maintained areas such as roughs,
which can withstand a higher degree of pest dam-
age before action is required. These thresholds
also vary with the expectations for a particular
golf course, the availability of financial resources,
and available alternative control measures.

2. Attacking the pest during the most susceptible
point in its life cycle. Each pest has a point in its
life cycle when it is easier to control. Usually,
this point is during the early stages of develop-
ment. For example, the most effective time for
mole cricket control is during its first instar
which normally occurs during the month of June
in Florida. The same philosophy of attacking the
most susceptible point in its life cycle is true also
for most weeds. Young, actively growing weeds
are usually the easiest to control. Once weeds be-
gin to mature, they become more difficult and ex-
pensive to control.

3. If necessary, using the pesticide that is the most
effective but the least toxic to non-target organ-
isms and the environment. Read the label and
use the recommended rate, and spot treat, if pos-
sible, instead of applying "blanket" or "wall-to-
wall" treatments. Obviously this relies on effec-
tive scouting techniques and proper recording or
mapping of pest outbreaks.

Starting an IPM program
Developing an IPM program involves certain
steps. However, each golfing facility differs and will
require an IPM program tailored to its interest,
level of expectation, and available budget. Pest
problems are going to occur on any golf course.
Even the best management program can not guar-

antee problems will not occur. The very nature of
managing a golf course predisposes it to stress since
the turf is maintained at its very edge of survival.
For example, golf greens are generally mowed below
1/4 inch, which is much lower than grasses are natu-
rally adapted. This results in a precarious balance
between the needs for grass maintenance and those
for grass survival. The following steps have proven
successful in developing an IPM program and
should provide a good starting point for golf course

1. Define the role and responsibility of all persons
who are involved in the pest management pro-
gram. This includes establishing communication
between club officials, players, and crew mem-
bers. These individuals must be aware of the new
approach the superintendent is trying and that it
is an ongoing experiment. They need to expect
some successes and some setbacks. Assurance
and understanding will be needed by all partici-
pants during initial stages of development to pre-
vent misunderstanding and provide ample time
for desirable results to occur.

Scouts who are conscientious and trained to rec-
ognize turf pest problems provide the base for
successful monitoring. The superintendent will
probably want to begin as the primary scout until
a feel for IPM strategies is attained. Once this
occurs, this responsibility may be delegated to an
assistant. However, it should be emphasized that
all employees should play an important role in
recognizing pests and/or damage produced. Take
time to explain the pests and their symptoms to
those who perform daily tasks such as mowing or
irrigation, since these people have a close-up,
daily view of the grass. The spray technician also
should be familiar with pest identification and
most important, its life cycle. Emphasize how
each pest usually has a point in its life cycle in
when it is most vulnerable.

2. Determine management objectives for specific ar-
eas of the site and correct all practices which fa-
vor pest development or put undue stress on the
turf. Obviously, highly maintained areas such as
greens and tees require a priority for pest control.
Lower maintained grass, such as the driving
range or roughs are a lower priority. A thorough
inspection should be conducted of each site on the
course before implementing the IPM program.
This will provide the groundwork from which all
management decisions can be based and also will
provide a record allowing correcting problems

made during course construction or from subse-
quent management to be justified. A field his-
tory form similar to Table 1 should be used to
record data. Included in this information should
be the current turf species, its area, mowing
schedule, soil analysis, soil drainage, fertilizer
programs, irrigation scheduling, and shade and
traffic patterns. Be prepared to improve existing
problems which weaken the turf, or the potential
success of the IPM program will be greatly re-
duced. Solicit funds for these improvements, as
they will save money in the long run. Again, this
relates back to providing open communication
between club officials and the superintendent.

It also is suggested that a weather monitoring
system be installed. This will provide detailed,
localized data on important variables such as
rainfall patterns, soil temperature and moisture,
wind movement, humidity, and sunlight indices.
These climatic conditions usually play the most
important role in specific turf growth patterns.
Being able to track or pinpoint them enables the
superintendent to modify cultural practices to
supplement or offset its effects.

3. Set aesthetic or action thresholds and begin
monitoring and recording pest levels. An aes-
thetic or action threshold is the point when pest
populations or environmental conditions indicate
that some action must be taken to prevent intol-
erable damage. These thresholds will vary ac-
cording to the location of the course, the specific
pest being scouted, level of use of the turf area,
the expectations of club members, and budget

The pest in question will partially determine its
aesthetic threshold. For example, the number of
mole crickets tolerated on an area basis is less
than the number of sod webworms. Related to
this threshold is the site in which the pest is
found. Golf greens have a much lower aesthetic
threshold for mole crickets than a rough or out-
of-play area. Unfortunately, exact threshold
numbers have not been developed for every pest
encountered in turf. However, Table 2 provides
a starting point for several common turf insects.

Determining ways of monitoring pests vary
widely and range from simple visual inspection
to the use of soil bioassays and immunoassays.
For example, the following are used for routine
insect detection:

Table 1. Field history report form used for golf courses.


Hole Number



Turf IPM Field History Report Form

Phone Number

Phone Number

Soil Analysis Fertilization
Mowing Soil Amount (N/1000 so ft) Irrigation
Species Area Schedule pH P K Drainage Spnng Summer Fall Winter Frequency Scheduling


Comments on specific topics such as shade, overseeding blend, nitrogen carrier, top-dressing mix, weather, irrigation salinity levels, etc:

Table 2. Aesthetic or action levels for several common insects found on moderately maintained turf such as golf fairways.

Aesthetic or Action
Insect Thresholds Inspection Method

Armyworms 3-4 sq ft visual and soap flush
Bluegrass billbugs 6 sq ft visual
Chinch bugs 20 sq ft water float
(St. Augustinegrass)
Cutworms 1 sq ft visual and soap flush
June beetle grubs 3-4 sq ft visual and soil
Masked chafer beetles 4 sq ft visual
Mole crickets 1-2 sq ft visual and soap flush
Sod webworms 5-8 sq ft visual and soap flush


a. Visual inspection or evaluation of the turf area.
Surface active insects feeding on above ground
plant portions are determined by this method.

b. Manual inspection of the soil in suspected or
damaged areas. This involves examining the
thatch layer and top two to three inches of soil.
Usually three sides of a piece of turf is severed
with a shovel and the grass is laid back exposing
the thatch and soil. Grub and billbug larvae are
the principal insects found by this method.

c. Soap flush. This is accomplished by mixing
1 1/2 fl.oz. of liquid dishwashing soap or 1 table-
spoon of 1 percent pyrethrin in 3-5 gallons of wa-
ter and applying this to a 2 x 2 sq ft area of turf.
If present, affected insects will soon emerge and
usually die due to the soap interfering with res-
piration. The area should be observed for at
least 2 minutes for any insects that emerge. Mole
crickets, webworms, armyworms, and chinch
bugs are detected by this means.

Table 3. Field infestation report form used for golf courses.

Turf IPM Field Infestation Report Form


Hole Number



d. Water flotation. A metal cylinder, such as an
open ended coffee can 6 inches or so in diam-
eter, is forced through the turf 1 to 2 inches
deep and filled with water. The can should be
inspected for at least 2 minutes for any insects
floating to the surface. Chinch bugs are de-
tected by this method.

e. Pitfall traps, pheromone traps, and floral lures.
Pitfall traps consist of 1 inch diameter PVC pipe
with a portion sliced along its side and placed
face-up flush with the soil surface. Ajar trap
one-third full of 70% ethanol is placed at one
end. As insects move across the soil surface,
they will fall in the PVC pipe, crawl into and be
trapped, by the jar with ethanol. Pheromone
traps and floral lures are two examples of at-
tracting the insect into traps by using either sex
hormones or lights. As the chemistry of natural
hormones and attractants of insects become bet-
ter understood, these and similar monitoring
devices will become more widely available.

Phone Number

Phone Number


Mowing Soil
Height Moisture Weeds Diseases Insects Nematodes




Notes: 1. Goosegrass 1. Dollar Spot 1. Mole Crickets 1. Sting
2. Crabgrass 2. Leaf Spot 2. Sod Webworms 2. Lance
3. Thin Paspalum 3. Pvthium Blight 3. Armyworms 3. Stubby-Root
4. Torpedograss 4. Pvthium Root Rot 4. Cutworms 4. Root-Knot
5. Broadleaves 5. Fairy Ring 5. White Grubs 5. Cyst
6. Nutsedge (Yellow, 6. Brown Patch 6. Fire Ants 6. Ring
Annual, Globe) 7. Bermudagrass Decline 7. Mites 7. Spiral
7. Nutsedge (Purple) 8. Algae/Moss 8. Grass Scales 8. Sheath
8. Poa annual 9. Other 9. Other 9. Other
9. Other

Recording pest levels should be done on a form
similar to the one in Table 3. This will allow
the scout and superintendent to monitor pest
trends and determine if these levels reach or ex-
ceed aesthetic thresholds. Accompanying these
forms should be maps developed for each golf
hole. Maps can easily be drawn via the com-
puter using one of the popular "draw" or "paint"
type programs (Figure 1). Maps enable the
scout to pinpoint pest problem areas, allowing
spot versus traditional blanket pesticide treat-
ment. Over time, these maps can indicate
where pest problems occur annually and possi-
bly allow superintendents to correct manage-
ment or ecological variables influencing it. For
example, mole cricket egglaying activity (tunnel-
ling) during April and May should be mapped
and these areas treated in June as mole crickets
tend to deposit eggs in the same areas each
year. Control is not effective earlier in spring.
Maps also provide area information for the su-
perintendent and allow new crew members a
visual aid in treating problem areas.

Figure 1. Computerized drawn map of a golf hole enabling a
scout to identify and mark pest problem areas.

4. Use pesticides correctly and only when threshold
limits are reached. One of the goals of IPM is
intelligent and prudent pesticide use. Once
these thresholds are reached, the pesticide used
should be the safest one available, spot treat-
ments should be practiced, if possible, and all
safety precautions followed. Pests should also be
treated during the most vulnerable stage of their
life cycle.

5. Evaluate the results of the habitat modification
and pesticidal treatments by periodically moni-
toring the site environment and pest popula-
tions. Keep written records of site pest manage-
ment objectives, monitoring methods and data
collected. Also record the actions taken and the
results obtained by the pest management meth-
ods. This will provide additional information for
club members who do not understand the pro-
gram but would understand results. This also
will aid in demonstrating that golf course super-
intendents are striving to reduce the chemical
inputs in maintaining the course and strive to
obtain an ecological balance between man and

Pest management strategies for turf productions
are in their infancy but are being developed and
utilized. Strategies necessary for a successful IPM
program have been outlined and should provide a
starting point for golf course superintendents. It
should be emphasized that IPM methods will take
time to implement and will be needed to measure
their degree of success. Open communication be-
tween all crew members, club officials, players, and
the superintendent are necessary for programs to
be understood and to succeed. Read and study in-
formation on pests associated with Florida golf
courses, their life cycle, ecology surrounding their
occurrence, and pest management strategies to suc-
cessfully suppress their numbers below threshold
levels. More importantly, follow those management
guidelines which encourage competitive turf growth
and discourage pest establishment.

IPM represents a case of redirecting resources
invested in turf maintenance, in which professional
knowledge and judgement is partially substituted
for chemicals. Itmay or may not be cheaper in up-
front costs, but does provide an excellent means of
reducing unwelcome environmental and personnel
risks without sacrificing turf health. IPM reduces
pesticide use or softens the kinds of pesticides
needed. It also reduces our potential liability for

unforeseeable clean-ups or other corrective actions
for specific pesticide use or handling sites. IPM,
thus, improves the image of the golf industry as
good citizens of modern urban society.

Bowen, W. R., V. A. Giveault, H. D. Ohr, and I. J.
Thomason. 1979. IPM, an alternate approach to
solving pest problems. Golf Course Management

Hellman, J.L., J. A. Davidson, and John Holmes.
1982. Urban ornamental and turfgrass inte-
grated pest management in Maryland, P. 31-38.
In H. D. Niemczyk and B. J. Joyner (ed.), Ad-
vances in Turfgrass Entomology. Chemlawn
Corp., Columbus, Ohio.

Leslie, A. R. 1991. An IPM program for turf.
Grounds Maintenance. 26:84-86, 116.

McCarty, L. B., D. W. Roberts, L. C. Miller, and J.
A. Brittain. 1991. TIPS: an integrated plant
management project for turfgrass managers. J.
Agronomic Education. 19:155-159.

Petraitis, J. 1981. Controlling the Japanese Beetle
without spraying. Golf Course Management.

Pimentel D. 1982. Perspectives of integrated pest
management. Crop Protection 1:5-26.

Roberts, D. A. 1978. Fundamentals of Plant-Pest
Control. W.H. Freeman and Comp., San Fran-
cisco. 242pp.

Short, D. E., J. A. Reinert, and R. A. Atilano. 1982.
Integrated pest management for urban turfgrass
culture Florida, p. 25-30. In H. D. Niemczyk
and B. J. Joyner (ed.), Advances in Turfgrass En-
tomology. Chemlawn Corp., Columbus, Ohio.

Appendix 1
Turfgrass pest identification literature
Atilano, R. and T.E. Freeman. 1981. Brown Patch
of Turfgrasses. Fact Sheet PP-20. Gainesville,
FL: Florida Cooperative Extension Service,
IFAS, 2pp.

Atilano, R. and T.E. Freeman. 1981. Gray Leaf
Spot of St. Augustinegrass. Fact Sheet PP-19.

Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, IFAS, 2pp.

Atilano, R. and T.E. Freeman. 1981.
Helminthosporium Diseases of Bermudagrasses.
Fact Sheet PP-18. Gainesville, FL: Florida Co-
operative Extension Service, IFAS, 2pp.

Atilano, R. and T.E. Freeman. 1982. Pythium
Blight of Turfgrasses. Fact Sheet PP-25.
Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, IFAS, 2pp.

Atilano, R., T.E. Freeman, and G.W. Simone.
1986. Brown Patch of Turfgrasses. Fact Sheet
PP-36. Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative
Extension Service, IFAS, 2pp.

Elliott, M. and T.E. Freeman. 1991.
Bermudagrass Decline. Fact Sheet PP-31.
Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, IFAS, 4pp.

Freeman, T.E. and G.W. Simone. 1988. Turfgrass
Diseases and Their Control. Circular 221-H.
Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, IFAS, 13pp.

Freeman, T.E. and G.W. Simone. 1991. Fairy
Rings in Turfgrasses. Fact Sheet PP-43.
Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, IFAS, 2pp.

Murphy, T. R., L. B. McCarty, D. L. Colvin, R.
Dickens, J. Everest, D. W. Hall. 1992. Weed of
Southern Turfgrasses. Special Publication SP-
79. Gainesville, FL: Florida Cooperative Exten-
sion Service, IFAS. 208pp.

Shurtleff, M.C., T. W. Fermanian, and R. Randell.
1987. Controlling Turfgrass Pests. Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey: Reston Books, Prentice-
Hall, Inc. 449pp.

Smiley, R. W. 1983. Compendium of Turfgrass
Diseases. St. Paul, MN: American Phytopatho-
logical Society Press, 102pp.

Tahiro, Haruo. 1987. Turfgrass Insects of the
United States. Ithaca, New York: Comstock
Publishing Associates, Division of Cornell Uni-
versity Press, 391pp.

Appendix 2

Nematode Assay Laboratory

Turfgrass pest diagnostic services at
the University of Florida
Insect Identification

Insect Identification
Extension Entomology
Entomology & Nematalogy Building 970
University of Florida
P.O. Box 110620
Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
(904) 392-1990

Plant/Weed Indentification

Plant Identification Service
209 Rolfs Hall
Box 110530
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0530
(904) 392-1767

Plant Diagnostic Labs
Building 78, Mowry Road
Box 110830
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0830
(904) 392-1994

Plant Disease Clinic

Plant Diagnostic Labs
Building 78, Mowry Road
Box 110830
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0830
(904) 392-1992

Soil and Tissue Analysis Laboratory

Soil Testing Laboratory
Wallace Building, Mowry Road
Box 110740
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0740
(904) 392-1950
'Please Note: These diagnostic services are available at the
local County Extension Office. These all are charged services.
Current charge information, relevant sample submission in-
structions and forms, as well as sample submission kits (where
relevant) are available from all County Extension Offices or can
be procured by phone from the specific service locations. Labs
are open from 8:00 am 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday (except on University of Florida holi-

Director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the May 8 and June
30,1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that
function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin. Single copies of extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth
publications) are available free to Florida residents from county extension offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers
isavailablefrom C.M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida32611. Before publicizing
this publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability. Printed 6/92.

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