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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #409777

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Cropping Systems of Warm-season Grasses for Forage, Feedstocks, Syrup, and Turf

Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding Research

Title: Improved management of the bermudagrass stem maggot (Atherigona reversura Villeneuve)

item BAXTER, LISA - University Of Georgia
item Anderson, William - Bill
item HUDSON, WILLIAM - University Of Georgia
item RIOS, ESTEBAN - University Of Florida
item BOWLING, CODY - University Of Georgia
item BURT, JUSTIN - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2024
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A new invasive pest (bermudagrass stem maggot (BSM)) appeared in forage bermudagrass fields in southeastern United States in 2010. It can drastically reduce forage bermudagrass hay yields in mid to late summer. Multiple years of testing has provided some methods to reduce the devastating effects of the pest. This management guide describes methods for bermudagrass hay growers to use, such as insecticide controls, using improved cultivars and early detection.

Technical Abstract: The bermudagrass stem maggot (BSM; Atherigona reversura Villeneuve) continues to damage bermudagrass pastures and hayfields throughout the southeastern United States each summer. This management guide describes how to identify the damage to the forage and the bermudagrass stem maggot as a larva, pupa, and fly. Strategically timed pyrethroid applications reduce adult BSM populations, but on-going efforts are focused on developing integrated pest management plans that include cultural, physical, and biological suppression efforts. Research is on-going to improve the effectiveness of insecticide applications and screen new modes of action to prevent resistance to the pyrethroids. However, long-term solutions will require development and release of tolerant bermudagrass genotypes to reduce the reliance on pesticides. Fine stem bermudagrass varieties are more susceptible to bermudagrass stem maggot damage than varieties with thicker stem diameters. While Tifton 85 is still considered the standard for which we compare all other bermudagrass varieties, there is still room for improvement. Genotypes currently under evaluation maintain the positive attributes of Tifton 85 while overcoming these challenges.