The Masked Chafer, also known as Cyclocephela spp., is a relatively common pest affecting many different species of turfgrass. It can be found throughout parts of the United States, with the exception of some of the northernmost parts of the Canadian border states. Most of the damage caused by this grub occurs during September and early October.
Identifying Masked Chafer -
In its adult form, Masked Chafer is a dull, dark shade of yellow or ocher. Its identifying feature is a dark brownish-black band connecting the eyes that looks like a “mask.”
There are actually four different species of this lawn insect, determined by geography: Northern, Southern, Southwestern and Western. Hairs can be found covering the thorax and wing covers of the Northern species, while hairs are sparse on the Southern species. The raster pattern on the grubs is irregular on both the Northern and Southern species. The only way distinguish between these two species with certainty is to dissect the mouth parts.
The Southwestern and Western species are far less common and rarely present a problem in lawns.
For control of the Masked Chafer larva in your lawn, see White Grub control.
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 Masked Chafer control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.