Dallisgrass

Pest: Dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum)

Pest Type: Perennial Grass Weed

Major Identifying Features: Used for pasture, forms loose bunches that grow 1-5 feet tall, prostrate to erect, flat sheath base that is red and hairy, underground stems are short, stiffer leaves than crabgrass

Life Cycle: Perennial, blooms from May through November, flower head has 3-6 spikes, reproduces by seed

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Easy

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Grows in gardens, turf, vineyards, orchards, ditches, canals, pond margins, rice fields

Damage Information: Seed heads are susceptible to an ergot fungus, Calviceps paspali, that is toxic to livestock when ingested, profuse seed production, rapid growth, invades rice fields

Management Options: Cultural control by improving vigor of turf grass by proper mowing, selecting good turf species, overseeding, proper irrigation and fertilziation, mulching, solarization, chemical control with herbicides (not in vegetable gardens!), WARNING ON THE USE OF CHEMICALS

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu

Dreistadt, Steve H., and Jack Kelly. Clark. Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs: An Integrated Pest Management Guide. Oakland, CA: U of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1994. Print.

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