Sugar Cane Beetle

Tomarus subtropicus

The Sugar Cane Beetle is a lawn-damaging insect that primarily feeds on sugar cane but can also cause damage in home lawns. Also known as Tomarus subtropicus, this lawn pest inhabits any area where sugar cane is grown, mainly along the Gulf Coast. Lawn damage is only caused by grubs and typically occurs from September through November.

Identify

Grubs

Grubs

Sub Surface

Sub Surface

An adult Sugar Cane Beetle has a shiny black body covered with several indentations. This lawn pest also features several claw-like structures covering each of its legs. Some adult specimens have also been found with hairs growing on its underside and along its sides. The Sugar Cane Beetle is a very large lawn pest when compared to other grub species—they are nearly twice the size of Green June Beetle grubs. Both the adult and grub stages of this lawn-damaging insect feed on sugar cane, but only the grubs will cause damage to lawns. This lawn pest can present a problem anywhere that sugar cane is grown, but especially along the coastal regions of the United States.

Life Cycle

Life Cycle Image

Control

There are two methods for controlling Sugar Cane Beetles that TruGreen® recommends: 1. Use professionally applied pest control designed to prevent excess lawn pest populations, which can cause damage to your lawn 2. Kill insects, grubs and other lawn pests before they have a chance to damage your lawn Proper mowing and watering techniques can also help foster a healthy lawn that's more tolerant to lawn pest attacks—plus you'll get a lawn you'll want to live on in the process.

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