How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Australian Sod Fly

Scientific Name: Inopus rubriceps

(Reviewed 9/09, updated 9/09)

In this Guideline:


In California, the Australian sod fly is occasionally found only in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adult male flies are 0.25 inch (6 mm) long and black with yellowish legs. Females are 0.4 inch (9.5 mm) long, black, with reddish legs and a red head. Adults may be active in May, but their major period of activity is from September through November. Eggs are laid in the soil. After hatching, larvae may take 2 years to complete development. Fully grown larvae are 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) long maggots with flattened, distinctly segmented bodies that are light tan with a coarsely granular surface. There are six long, stiff bristles per segment, no legs, and a distinct, conical black head capsule. The flattened and distinctly segmented body of the sod fly larvae easily distinguishes this species from other maggots, such as the march fly, that occur in turf but mostly feed on decaying organic matter.


All turf species.


Australian sod fly larvae feed on sap from the roots of grasses. As a result of their feeding, grass declines and is replaced over time with broadleaf weeds.


There are no known biological or cultural controls and no registered chemical controls. A well maintained, adequately irrigated, vigorously growing turf stand can normally withstand a moderate sodfly infestation.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Turfgrass
UC ANR Publication 3365-T

Insects and Mites

A. M. Sutherland, UC Statewide IPM Program, Alameda County
M. L. Flint, UC IPM Program, UC Davis
M. A. Harivandi, UC Cooperative Extension, Alameda County

Acknowledgment for contributions to Insect and Mites:
H. K

Top of page

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   Contact webmaster.