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Welcome to the WeevilTrak℠ blog, offering you updates about annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) from industry leading researchers. This blog will provide you with timely ABW activity across the north east as well as advice on scouting and controlling them using the Optimum Control Strategy.

Latest Posts

This is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

Our lab spent much of the week looking for annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) adults, and trying to get a handle on where the majority of the adult population is located. Vacuum sampling between overwintering sites and short turf areas revealed that the vast majority of weevils in central Pennsylvania (> 95 percent at most sites) are still in the roughs. We found several sites where some weevils had made it all the way to the fairways, but most, if not all, were in south-facing turf stands, which are likely to warm up faster than other areas of the course.

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Annual Bluegrass Weevils in New England

Annual bluegrass weevils (ABW) are finally on the move in New England. We visited a site about 20 miles from the University of Massachusetts campus earlier this week and collected vacuum samples from two roughs and two fairways. Even though we did not notice any weevils on the surface, we certainly found them in the vacuum samples. I just finished dissecting those ABW today (Friday, April 17) and made some interesting observations.

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Double Down

As expected, the warm Easter weekend shook things up in the mid-Atlantic from a growing degree day (GDD) and phenological indicator standpoint.

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Adults in the Rough, Fine Turf is Next and Perimeter Sprays

Albeit slowly, we have started to accumulate growing degree days (GDD). Currently, the Maryland sites have about 30 GDD. Sites in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey have less than 20 GDD, whereas the Allentown location has only 4-5 GDD.

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The Calm Before the Storm

As spring-like conditions slowly make their way back into the Northeast, we can consider this the "calm before the storm". We have not yet accumulated any degree days at our sites in Massachusetts, but this is not unusual for us. I checked the WeevilTrak™ data from the previous five years at Hickory Ridge Golf Club in Amherst, Mass. and found that in two previous years we had not yet accumulated any degree days on April 1.

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“Frozen” in Time – April Fools’?

As encouraging as it was to see some adult Annual Bluegrass Weevils (ABW) last week, if for no other reason than to get ourselves calibrated to begin thinking about scouting and control plans, it was equally encouraging to see that Mother Nature can be merciful at times, too. As we ramped up growing degree days (GDD) within a few days, just as quickly, a cold weekend froze those measures and essentially halted ABW activity.

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Insecticide resistance in ABW – Part Two

Based on my observations through our own studies and conversations with colleagues, USGA agronomists and superintendents estimate that any golf course that has tried to intensively control Annual Bluegrass Weevil (ABW) for at least five years will have some level of insecticide resistance. With intensively, I mean multiple applications per year over large portions of the golf course.

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As eager as every turf professional is to get the season started and break cabin fever, based on some discoveries on March 27th, this is also evident with ABW.

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Adult Emergence, Don't Panic!

Before WeevilTrak™, there was more confusion as to timing and choice of insecticides to control the annual bluegrass weevil (ABW). This confusion led to overuse of insecticides, poor timing and application of the wrong product - often leading to poor control and insecticide resistance. While discussing this problem with a DuPont research manager, we developed the concept of WeevilTrak, providing timely information to the superintendent to effectively manage weevils and minimize pesticide applications.

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Expect the Unexpected

This is the first year I will be participating in WeevilTrak™, though I have been an interested observer since the program's inception. I have been investigating ABW ecology and management for more than a decade in the New York metropolitan area, but this is my first season in Pennsylvania. So, what can I expect? From my studies in New York and New Jersey, I have learned that there are great differences in how individual ABW populations behave and develop.

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