How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
The planthopper (often incorrectly referred to as a "fulgorid" but actually a member of the planthopper family Delphacidae, subfamily Delphacinae) may be abundant on bermudagrass florets and leaves from mid-spring through fall. Metadelphax propinqua is a small, tan planthopper, about 0.13 inch (3-4 mm) long. Two distinguishing traits of Delphacid planthoppers are prominent, thickened anntennae and a spur at the base of the hind tarsi that points inward. Adult planthoppers can be observed hopping and flying when disturbed. The nymphs resemble adults but are wingless.
In other areas it has been noted that this species has short-winged, intermediate-winged, and long-winged forms. The average lifespan is about 50 days, and depending on location, there are 3 to 10 generations a year.
Adults and nymphs may be found in bermudagrass at any time during spring and fall seed-production seasons and are of greatest concern when plants are in bloom. Their feeding reduces plant vigor, but more serious is the contamination of seed heads with honeydew deposits that make the seed difficult to harvest and clean.
Monitor seed fields with a sweep net for planthoppers when florets are developing and continue through seed harvest. No threshold is established; however, in a commercial field study, a level of 12 leafhoppers per 90° sweep was not high enough to cause seed harvest problems.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Bermudagrass Seed Production