News and Reviews

Handbook on Japanese Beetle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's18 page publication Managing the Japanese Beetle: A Homeowner's Handbook (USDA-APHIS Program Aid No. 1599) provides a good, basic introduction to the beetle and outlines a control program that combines biological, cultural and chemical strategies.

Written in plain, easy-to-understand English, the brochure emphasizes IPM concepts. Nearly four pages are devoted to natural enemies, including nematodes and the milky spore bacterium that can be purchased and applied to turf. Brief bios on Tiphia vernalis and Istocheta aldrichi introduce the subject of exotic parasites, and conservation of these natural enemies by providing appropriate food sources is suggested. The remainder of the publication discusses plant susceptibility and utilizing resistant plants or traps as cultural controls.

Books on Insect Pests of Turfgrass

In order to implement biological control you need to know about your target pest as well as the natural enemies used against it. If you need a good general reference on insect pests of turfgrass, consider one of the following two that also contain some information on the natural enemies of Japanese beetle.

The Entomological Society of America published Handbook of Turfgrass Insect Pests, R. L. Brandenburg and M. G. Villani, Eds., in 1995. It was written with lawn care operators, grounds maintenance personnel, sod producers, consultants, students, and extension agents in mind. It contains detailed descriptions of insects, injury and specific pest management techniques, color photographs of each pest, and distribution maps. Limited information on natural enemies and biological control is included in the "management" section for each pest. The 140 page, softbound handbook includes 60 color photos, 58 illustrations, a directory of resources for obtaining local information, and a glossary.

The Handbook can be ordered for $30 (ESA members, $25) plus $2.50 s/h. Send prepaid orders to:

ESA Sales
P.O. Box 177
Hyattsville, MD 20781-0177

and credit card orders to:

ESA Sales
9301 Annapolis Road
Lanham, MD 20706
Fax (301) 731-4538
Phone (301) 731-4535

A comprehensive reference on turfgrass pests is Turfgrass Insects of the United States and Canada by Haruo Tashiro. This 391 page hardbound book, published in 1987 by Cornell University Press, contains substantial technical material for the professional entomologist, as well as information for turfgrass managers with limited entomological training. For each major insect or group there is a detailed discussion on taxonomy, importance, history and distribution, damage, description of stages, life history and habits, and natural enemies (with over 400 references cited in the text). Over 475 superb color photographs depict practically all turfgrass pests found in North America, and even some of the natural enemies as well. An additional 200 illustrations provide distribution maps, life history charts and ID line drawings.

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