Damage from bermudagrass stem maggot was reported from Franklin and Cherokee Counties this week. Damage had previously been reported from Talladega, Marshall, Shelby, Chilton, Chambers, and Barbour Counties.
Hay producers should check their fields for bermudagrass stems where the top 2-3 leaves are completely dead. That is a symptom of feeding injury from this pest. If the hay is almost ready to cut, that is the best option. Cutting will kill the insects that are developing inside the stem. Seven to 10 days after the hay is cut, the regrowth should be protected by applying an insecticide that will control the adult flies. Drs. Dennis Hancock and Will Hudson from the University of Georgia have determined that in most cases, the single application should be enough to protect the cutting.
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