WeevilTrak Blog | GreenCast | Syngenta
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: Steve McDonald

WET a Year!

Last month, I wrote in my blog that adult and larvae annual bluegrass weevils (ABW) were tough to find, potentially due to warm, dry weather from late-June through the middle of July. Then it started raining in the Mid-Atlantic on July 20-21. Guess what? It has not stopped and annual bluegrass weevil activity, though minor to moderate, has picked up on bentgrass and Poa annua.

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2018: The Year of Extremes?

Weather extremes have made 2018 a challenging year to groom your golf course the way you want to. I have met with some frustrated superintendents regarding labor, staffing, wet weather, heat stress and other challenging topics. But ironically, one of the least common topics I have had on visits to golf courses this year has been annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) damage.

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Wet, Whacky and Weevilly

The month of May was marked by more than 10 inches of rainfall for most of the Mid-Atlantic region, and the Southern Northeast region. This weather pattern did not and will not stop the annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) for doing their thing.

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Is spring finally here?

Many of us cannot remember a spring this cold in the Mid-Atlantic region. Many golf courses have not even sprayed a fungicide yet, and typically by this point they have already made at least one, sometimes two, applications. But, in my travels to northern Virginia and throughout most of Maryland and the eastern shore during the past week, it looks like annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) adults will peak sometime between April 27 and May 10.

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March off to a slow, cool start again

The March of 2018 has been a lot like the March of 2017. Snowfall, cold nights and cool days have marked the weather in the Mid-Atlantic region. Following these weather patterns, I receive a lot of questions at meetings about “how will that weather stretch will impact annual bluegrass weevils”. The one I like most is “Hey Steve, do you think that really cold weather killed all of the ABW adults at my course?” Unfortunately, it will not. This insect pest survives colder winters than that annually in regions north of the Mid-Atlantic.

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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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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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Where are all of the Weevils?

The past month has been fairly slow for ABW activity. I have had more conversations with superintendents that are just not seeing the populations of adults that they are accustomed to seeing in the middle of the summer. I don't have an explanation as to why exactly that is. Sometimes I think I have a good understanding of this insect when scouting and making suggestions, and then WOW, think again, some damage shows up.

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First Round of Damage: Observations and What We Learned

Let me start this blog by saying that the annual bluegrass weevil continues to give us a roller coaster ride and not one year is the same. Currently in the Philadelphia and central to southern New Jersey areas we are starting to see the emergence of adults back into the turfgrass surface along with some lingering callow adults and pupae. Even if you had no damage from the over wintered adult cycle, continue to scout.

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May ABW Update: PA and Southern NJ

We started to find consistent densities of annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) larvae in untreated check plots throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey early in the week of May 15th. Visual ABW damage has been slowed by adequate soil moisture in most locations of the Mid-Atlantic region. All of the damage I have observed, to date this year, has been on annual bluegrass.

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