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Weevils on their way to New England soon

Many golf course superintendents in coastal New England have three feet of snow on the ground – or more! And there are rumors of yet another storm heading our way next week. But believe it or not, spring IS coming and that means that annual bluegrass weevils will be on the move relatively soon.

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When will the weevil come marching? Will they be 1 by 1 or 10 by 10?

Another WeevilTrak season is ahead of us. I’ll be again keeping track of annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) at Pine Brook Golf Course in Manalapan, New Jersey, and Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, New Jersey. Just like in 2017, we had a couple of warm days around Feb. 28 and March 1—not as warm as last year, but enough to get one growing degree day (GDD) on-record in Pine Brook.

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Late Season Weevil Damage

September 2017 was warmer than July and August. For most of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, there was no measurable rainfall from Sept. 6 until Oct. 9 and more irrigation occurred in September than the rest of the season. The warmer temperatures appear to have extended some turfgrass pest issues this year.

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Evaluate Now, Plan for Next Year

As the weevil population winds down in northern New England, it's not too early to plan for next year. While your memory is still fresh, ask yourself what worked, what didn't. If you took good written records, you have the data you need. If you didn't write it down, do it now while you can still remember

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ABW activity winding down in New England

This year has been unusually "quiet" for ABW activity in southern New England. At least I received very few phone calls or e-mails asking how to manage populations this year. I believe that is in part because the summer was much cooler than recent summers, and we had timely rainfall, at least in most of the region. So in other words, the turf has not been under as much agronomic stress as it was in 2016.

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2017 ABW season summary and 2018 outlook

For most golf courses, the annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) season should be pretty much over. In fact, at the two courses I have monitored for WeevilTrak this year, ABW have been pretty much a non-issue after June. And I have not heard from other superintendents around New Jersey about serious problems this summer. It might be time for a recap of the season to see what we can learn from it.

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It’s Wet! And Bentgrass Damage Observations

Much of the Mid-Atlantic region has received plenty of rainfall the past five weeks. I am hearing yearly totals in the Philadelphia area above 22-25 inches for the year. This has been another year to assess drainage concerns on the golf course. While frequent rainfall takes pressure off of hand hose work, other stressors come to the forefront. These include: mechanical stress associated with being wet, LABOR, drainage, storm and debris clean up and traffic management.

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Fewer Weevils in North Carolina... For Now

If you have been keeping up with WeevilTrak blog posts from my colleagues, you may notice that, in the last few weeks, the general consensus is that weevil numbers and damage appears to be lower this year than in previous years. This is true both for the northeastern US and in North Carolina.

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Watch out for summer generation ABW larvae in central and northern NJ

In central and northern NJ, larvae of the 1st summer generation are developing and could start causing problems if they reach high enough densities. Obviously, under hot summer conditions, with other stress factors involved, it takes fewer larvae to cause problems than in the spring. Hence, in areas that were not effectively treated in spring and/or that have a history of ABW problems in summer, regular monitoring for larvae should be conducted now. At this time, ABW may occur in all possible stages

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Summer ’17 ABW report

My observations of the summer of 2017 very closely mirror those of my colleagues. In general, weevil damage in southern New England seems to be lower than we have seen in recent years. Samples received last week from our site in Bloomfield, Connecticut revealed very low counts at all locations except one.

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