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Black Turfgrass Ataenius

The black turfgrass ataenius (BTA) adults are/will begin to become apparent on golf greens shortly.  The small beetle is less than ¼ inch in length with a shiny jet black appearance.  The beetles move slowly across the green, not to be confused with ground beetles that can move quickly.  When daytime temperatures reach into the 70’s (F) the adults begin to move from wood lots to turf looking for places to lay their eggs.  As a phenological indicator when the Vahoutte or birdalveil spireas are in full bloom, the process of egg laying has begun.  Although the adults do not cause damage, controlling adult populations can reduce grub severity, and thus damage later in the summer.

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