Fiery skipper adults resemble butterflies and are 1 inch (2.5
cm) long with a hooked knob at the end of their antennae. Males have
orange-yellow wings spotted with black, while females have dark brown
wings spotted with orange or yellow. Larvae are up to 1 inch (2.5
cm) long and have distinctive reddish markings on the front of what
appears to be an oversized black head, a narrowed neck followed by
a dark thoracic shield, and a greenish-pink body color with a granulated
texture. These characteristics distinguish fiery
skippers from other turfgrass pests.
bentgrass, St. Augustinegrass
Damage from fiery skippers is usually seen from May through September
and begins as brown spots of lawn, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm) in
diameter. Spots may join together to form large, irregular dead patches.
Leaves are chewed or missing. Damage usually occurs near flower beds
where adults feed.
Perform a drench test to bring up larvae.
Look for adults feeding on flowers.
Reduce thatch. Overseed with
grasses that are not preferred. If more than 15 larvae are found
per square yard, you may need to treat. Beneficial
nematodes or an application of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
may be effective against larvae. Other products are available.
For more information on lawn insects, refer to:
Pest Notes: Lawn Insects