How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Bermudagrass Scale

Scientific Name: Odonaspis ruthae

(Reviewed 9/09, updated 9/09)

In this Guideline:


Bermudagrass scales are 0.06 inch (1.6 mm) long, clam-shaped, and white armored. They are found on the crown, stolons, and under leaf sheaths of bermudagrass. High populations of bermudagrass scales create a whitish, moldy appearance on stems and crowns. Close examination of the grass with a hand lens will help to distinguish the clam-shaped shields.

The adult female produces eggs under her body covering. These hatch into crawlers that move to a new location, settle down, start to suck juices from the grass, and molt into the familiar sessile form. There are two or three generations a year.


Hybrid and common bermudagrass.


Bermudagrass scale occurs most frequently in shaded lawn areas and is favored by an overabundance of thatch. Feeding stunts the bermudagrass and results in a drought-stressed appearance. Bermudagrass suffering from other stresses, such as shade or drought, is especially susceptible and infestation can result in death.


To manage bermudagrass scale in turfgrass, reduce the amount of shade in the turf by removing excessive thatch, which increases light penetration. Some of the bermudagrass scale population will also be removed with the thatch. Do not plant bermudagrass in heavily shaded areas. There are no registered chemical control options.


[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. Kaya, Nematology, UC Davis
J. Hartin, UC Cooperative Extension, San Bernardino County
R. S. Cowles, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Windsor, CT
K. Kido, Entomology, UC Riverside
H. S. Costa, Entomology, UC Riverside
D. D. Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension, Humboldt/Del Norte counties

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