Texas battling bermudagrass stem maggot

In Southwest Farm Press

A new pest, the bermudagrass stem maggot, has been detected in seven Texas counties in the Gulf coast region and a pair of entomologists with Texas AgriLife Extension are warning forage producers to be aware of the dangers the pest presents to growers.

Robert Bowling, Texas AgriLife Assistant professor and Extension specialist in Corpus Christi, reports the Bermudagrass stem maggot, Atherigona reversur, is native to several Asian countries. In 2010, it was reported damaging bermudagrass from three counties in Georgia. This invasive fly quickly spread across the southern U.S. and, in 2013, was first reported infesting bermudagrass in Texas.

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Bermudagrass stem maggots on the move across Florida pastures

In Southeast Farm Press

By Liza Garcia-Jimenez, University of Florida

The first high populations of Bermudagrass stem maggot are now occurring in Central Florida and likely will be seen in North Florida any day now, if not already.

The adult stage of this pest are small flies.  The flies lay eggs in Bermudagrass fields of all types.  The maggots or larva hatch and burrow in the top node of the plant and feed, eventually killing the top leaf shoot.  Loss of both quality and quantity of Bermudagrass hay results. Producers should be on the lookout for BSM populations, signs of which are manifested by a brown coloring to the field that should be green.

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