Stockbridge Entomologist Pat Vittum Updates the Turfgrass Insect ‘Bible’

Patricia J. Vittum

Patricia J. Vittum, turfgrass entomologist and emeritus professor in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, has completed the third edition of the foundational reference book, “Turfgrass Insects of the United States and Canada,” published recently by Cornell University Press.

She says, “The science of turfgrass has advanced tremendously since the last revision was published in 1999. This hefty edition is 20% longer and was written with an eye towards turfgrass practitioners. The first two editions were written with specific needs of turfgrass entomologists in mind.” While rich in technical information, it is also more approachable for turfgrass managers for golf and other sports, for example, she adds.

The first edition of this reference work became known as the bible of turfgrass entomology upon publication in 1987, the entomologist says. She notes that it has proved invaluable to professional entomologists, commercial turf managers and golf course superintendents and is used widely in college extension courses. “This classic in the field is now in its third edition, providing current and complete coverage of turfgrass pests in the continental United States, Hawaii and southern Canada,” she says.

The revised volume integrates all relevant research from the previous two decades. It provides expanded coverage of several pest species, including the annual bluegrass weevil, invasive crane fly species, chinch bugs, billbugs, mole crickets and white grubs. Vittum also provides detailed information on the biology and ecology of all major pests and includes the most current information on conditions that favor insect development and biological control strategies pertinent to each species.This edition includes more than 100 black-and-white images, including diagrams of life cycles, sketches of morphological characteristics, and charts highlighting seasonal activity. The book also includes 72 full-color plates – more than 500 color images – showing close-ups of most of the key insects in adult and immature stages, plus damaged turf.

Rick L. Brandenburg, Extension specialist and entomologist at North Carolina State University reviewed Vittum’s publication and wrote, “The reader should be able to identify most turf insects through the use of this text. It is a critical reference work that any serious turf professional should own.”

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