Friday Fun Post: Ground Pearls!

Ground pearls are identified by the presence of small pearl-like bodies on the roots or in the soil. The pink adult stage that crawls is present during early summer. The adult female ground pearl is a wingless, pinkish scale insect, about 1⁄16 inch long with well-developed forelegs and claws. Nymphs form the hard globular “pearl” that is about 1/8 in diameter. Although not a frequent turf pest, they have the potential to seriously damage centipede, St. Augustine grass and bermudagrass. There are currently no recommendations for chemical control of ground pearls but good cultural practices like irrigating, liming and fertilizing can help the turfgrass recover from injury.