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Management Updates

This section of the web site features Management Updates written by the turf specialists of the UMass Extension Turf Program. The messages cover local problems, are geared toward local conditions, and are posted frequently during the growing season.

The most current message appears below; click into the archive to search previous messages dating back to 1998.

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Latest Message:

Annual Bluegrass Weevils

May 21 2015

Annual bluegrass weevils are developing quickly now!!!

The warm weather of last week has definitely spurred activity with the annual bluegrass weevil. We collected samples from a fairway at a golf course just east of Springfield on Monday (18 May). We took six cores from a fairway, each one 2 inches in diameter, and found: 3 first instars, 8 second instars, 4 third instars, and 1 fourth instar. Meanwhile we took samples from a golf course just northwest of Hartford, CT yesterday (20 May). We took the same kind of sample from a fairway (six cores, each one 2 inches in diameter), and found: 1 first instar, 17 second instars, 16 third instars, and 4 fourth instars. The total of 38 larvae is an average of 6.3 larvae per plug, which is equivalent to an astounding 300 larvae per square foot! (The superintendent intentionally left the area untreated for us, and plans to apply a larvicide tomorrow to the surrounding area.)

The good news in all of this is that this week is the perfect time to apply a treatment targeting larvae if you are in much of Connecticut or the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. Superintendents often report really good results when they make their larval applications at about 350 accumulated degree days (DD). Both courses reached that magic number earlier this week. Rhododendron catawbiensis exploded into full bloom a few days ago in both locations. That has served as an excellent indicator over the years, coupled with tracking degree days.

So ... for those of you in the Hartford - Springfield area, give serious thought to applying your larvicide within the next week, before the doggone larvae get any bigger! Those of you in central New Hampshire appear to be a few days behind us in western Massachusetts, based on personal observations, but your time will come soon enough.

Options for controlling larvae include indoxacarb, spinosad, and trichlorfon. Studies in previous years suggest that cyantraniliprole may be effective at this time as well, but the product has not been as thoroughly tested as the other yet, and we are still refining the optimum timing for those applications.

Submitted by: Dr. Pat Vittum

For additional information about integrated management of turf pests, refer to our Professional Guide for IPM in Turf.