Argentine Scarab (Cyclocephala signaticollis) is very similar in size and shape to the better known African Black Beetle but is a lighter tan-coloured insect and has subtle striping on the wing carapaces.
These insects live in the soil and favour turf. Its presence is often indicated by a spongier feel to the turf, which results from the damaged root system, and also by increased bird activity. The Argentine Scarab lays its eggs during summer and this is when the worst turf damage can occur. They produce eggs at an incredibly fast rate.
Often the damage is already done by the time the pests are visible. The Argentine Scarab damages turf by root feeding, weakening the turf and making it vulnerable. In December, the larvae cause considerable damage to grass, which can be accentuated by widespread bird-feeding with associated tearing of the turf. Larval numbers can be as high as 350 per m².
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