Managing insect pests of sport fields: Problems and prospects

Daniel A. Potter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sports turf management is a nearly $1.5 billion industry in the USA with >40,000 facilities ranging from municipal and school playing fields, to college and university fields, to multi-use professional stadiums. Demand for uniform, safe, well maintained playing surfaces remains high, but restrictions on traditional pesticides are changing how destructive insects are controlled. This paper reviews the management of major invertebrate pests of sport fields in the USA (e.g., white grubs, mole crickets, caterpillars) as well as nuisance pests such as fire ants and earthworms. Registration of highly effective, target-selective, residual insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid, halofenozide, fipronil) during the 1990s resulted in an industrywide shift from curative to preventive treatments, perhaps at the expense of a more holistic management approach. Modifying cultural practices (e.g., irrigation, mowing, and fertilization) will sometimes discourage pest outbreaks, but such tactics must not compromise playability and aesthetics. Prospects for use of pheromones, pest resistant grasses, biological control, bioinsecticides, and reduced-risk chemical insecticides for sport fields are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationI International Conference on Turfgrass Management and Science for Sports Fields
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2004

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • Biological control
  • Fire ants
  • Insecticides
  • Integrated pest management
  • Mole crickets
  • Turf insects
  • White grubs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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