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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Dichondra flea beetle — Chaetocnema repens

Adult dichondra flea beetles

Damage to Bermudagrass
Photo by Pam Geisel

Click on images to enlarge.

Identification

Adult flea beetles are black and very small, about 1/25 inch (1 mm) long with enlarged hind legs. The larvae are white with fine bristles and a light brown head capsule. Larvae live in the soil and are not usually seen.

Hosts

Bermudagrass, dichondra

Damage

On bermudagrass, damage appears in March through September. White, linear banding occurs along the length of the leaf blade. The turfgrass appears bleached or burned.

On dichondra, larvae feed on roots, causing the plant to wilt and die. Adults feed on the leaves, producing crescent marks on the upper surface.

Monitoring information

Look for small, shiny, black beetles that jump readily when disturbed.

Management

Flea beetles rarely occur in numbers justifying treatment.

Life cycle

For more information on lawn insects, refer to:
Pest Notes: Lawn Insects


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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