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Ground Pearls

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Hey folks! This is William Craig, and I am the Consumer Horticulture Agent for NC Cooperative Extension- Bladen County. Today, I wanted to share some information on a pest prevalent to our community- ground pearls. There have been several reports of ground pearls during the growing season throughout our area. This insect effects mostly warm-season grasses, especially centipede grass. Ground Pearls are scale insects that live below ground. Typical symptoms include circular to semicircular dead patches of grass near an object with a weed infestation among the affected areas.

To check for ground pearls, make an incision across the infected area and the healthy area. Pull back the turf exposing the roots. You should see the ground pearls about the size of a tick and the colors look like off white to purple depending on which stage the ground pearl is in.  Unfortunately, there are not many treatment options available, but there are alternatives to be considered.

If you think you may have this issue, feel free to contact me through email at or call the office at (910) 862- 4591. Want to learn more about plants? You can sign up for our newsletter by calling or emailing me. I look forward to working with you to remedy your landscaping needs! For more information, you can go to

Ground Pearls









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