Ground pearls plague turfgrasses

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By Al Hight, Brunswick County Extension

 Ground pearls are native scale insects that attach themselves to the roots of turfgrasses and suck the life of them. Centipede is especially susceptible, but all grasses except bahia are negatively affected. The “pearl” moniker comes from the cyst stage that looks much like a granule of polymer-coated fertilizer such as Osmocote. This time of year you may see the pinkish-red females crawling around on the surface waiting for a hookup with the tiny, fly-like males. Once they mate the females burrow back into the soil and lay eggs to start another generation.

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The Brunswick Beacon | circulation@brunswickbeacon.com | 910-754-6890
P.O. Box 2558, Shallotte, NC 28459
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