Skip to Content

Bermudagrass Stem Maggot

Bermudagrass Stem Maggot Adult on Bermudagrass

Damage from the Bermudagrass Stem Maggot is very prevalent across the middle Georgia area as of today.  It seems that as you move south and east of Taylor County damage is less severe. Females lay eggs on the leaves of the bermudagrass.  Larvae bore into the stem and once they hit a node it destroys the stem causing the upper portion of the grass to die and turn brown.  Growers say that it looks like the field was hit by frost.  This is Georgia and frost only hits on March 20th when we are full bloom on peaches.

Our only method of control is to manage the adult females that infest fields and lay eggs. Since many growers have recently cut and baled I am recommending that they treat at 10 days after fertilization and then again at 10 -14 days to decrease damage from this pest.    The recommendations are to use a pyrethroid approved for hay and the fly.

stem maggot larvae feeding on stem

If you have concerns about armyworms you can add some Dimilin for residual control, but it has no effect on the flies.  If you have questions or need someone to look at your grass locate your County Agent