Lawn Insect – Bermudagrass Scale

(Odonaspis ruthae)

The Bermudagrass Scale, also known as Odonaspis ruthae is a small lawn insect that primarily affects bermudagrass but can also be found in St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, bahiagrass, and tall fescue. Preferring heavily thatched and shaded areas, these lawn insects are typically found throughout much the southern United States as far north as Missouri.       

Identifying Bermudagrass Scale -

As nymphs, Bermudagrass Scale are called crawlers. They are oval-shaped, flattened and pink, with short legs, antennae, and eye spots. The newly hatched crawlers will settle and produce a waxy test, or shell, that starts off straw yellow and will eventually turn to white. Adult female body shells are oval shaped and white in color. Male body shells are about half the size of the females.

The first sign of Bermudagrass Scale damage is slow growth. The turf turns yellow in color, often resembling drought stress. Damage is more evident during periods of hot, dry weather; although delayed spring green up may also occur in areas where turf goes into winter dormancy.

Bermudagrass Scale Life Cycle -

Due to its small size and the inconspicuous nature, little is known about the Bermudagrass Scale’s life cycle. One cycle from egg lay to full adulthood can be completed in 10-14 days if conditions are right. This can lead to a rapid buildup of a population in lawns with bermudagrass. In fact, heavy infestations can yield populations so large at the nodes and crowns that the scales seem to be stacked on top of each other in your lawn.   

Bermudagrass Scale Control -

Scotts LawnService controls Bermudagrass Scale through the use of professionally applied pest controls designed to prevent excess populations that can cause damage to the turf.

Bermudagrass Scale

It's best to kill insects, grubs and other pests before they have a chance to cause damage to your lawn. Scotts LawnService recommends our exclusive Scotts® GrubEx® and Ortho® Max™ Pro insect control products, which will kill a wide variety of lawn damaging pests. Ortho® Max™ Pro eliminates destructive, bothersome insects, without disturbing the earthworms that are beneficial to your lawn's health.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Bermudagrass Scale control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.