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July 28, 2008

Posted: January 19, 2009

Volume 2, No. 3

ANNUAL BLUEGRASS WEEVIL (ABW)

This insect continues to threaten the growth of annual bluegrass turfgrass. During the week of July 21, I received a call from a golf course superintendent in the Capitol Region of the state who continues to observe various stages of this weevil pest damaging Poa tees, greens, collars, fairways. Larvae were abundant and damage was highly significant. If you are attempting to curatively control existing larvae then the following products are labeled to ‘curatively’ suppress the larval stage of ABW: Dylox™ 420SL Turf and Ornamental Insecticide, Dylox™ 80 Turf and Ornamental Insecticide, and Dupont’s Provaunt™ Insecticide (Supplemental label only for ABW larvae curative control). Be sure to follow all label directions and review the restrictions located on the Dylox™ labels regarding where the product can be applied for golf course use (i.e., Broadcast use is limited to tees and greens. Use on fairways is limited to spot treatments where pests are seen or found.) Adhere to all label directions and special restrictions which apply to golf course use.

The NE-1025 regional research project currently is developing a best management plan for this significant weevil pest. Superintendents are encouraged to participate in an on-line survey to assist the project in development of a Best Management Practices manual for annual bluegrass weevil and anthracnose. You can access the survey by going to the web site at http://www.turf.uconn.edu/ne1025.htm

BLACK CUTWORM (BCW)

To date we have not received any calls regarding black cutworm damage. The larval stage of this insect can cause extensive damage to golf course greens, collars, and tees. Keep scouting for this pest as the summer progresses!

CICADA KILLER WASPS (CKW)

To date we have not observed much activity from CKW. We have not recorded a lot of damage from this insect since ca. 2006. CKW can become a nuisance since they dig in home lawns and on golf courses. Adult wasps usually prefer to dig their burrows in sandy, bare, well drained soil exposed to full sunlight. Adults feed on flower nectar, while the immature larvae feed primarily on cicadas that the adults bring into the burrow. These insects overwinter as larvae in the soil then pupate in the spring finally emerging as adult wasps in mid June through early July. CKW usually ignore people. However, please be careful since an adult female can give a painful sting. Remember that mating males can be aggressive and more easily disturbed. You can access a considerable amount of information on CKW by referring to Professor Chuck Holliday's (Lafayette College, Easton, PA) Cicada Killer Page web site located at http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~hollidac/cicadakillerhome.html

GREEN JUNE BEETLE (GJB)

GJB adults were observed in Lancaster County on July 9. Damage from GJB larvae results in the typical mini-volcanoes present on the surface of infested turfgrass as a result of the larvae burrowing up and down in the soil profile to reach the surface to feed in. Early instar grubs frequently can be found tunneling in the top 4 inches of soil. They will loosen the soil and eat or thin out the thatch. Grubs seldom consume enough turf roots to cause significant damage. However, their disruptive burrowing and mound-building activities can disfigure turf. The latter mounds frequently are 2 to 3 inches in diameter; plus, grubs leave distinct open, vertical soil burrows averaging 6 to 12 inches in depth. The diameter of the burrow is about the size of your thumb. It is important to recognize that this grub species is not the only animal that makes mounds on grass. Earthworms also make mounds, the particles of which are distinct pellets. Green June beetle grubs are 3/8 (first instar) to 1½ inches long with a white stubby body and short legs. The grubs have an unusual habit of crawling on their backs rather than relying on their small legs, which are extended upward as they move across surfaces. Ridges located on the upper surface of the grub’s body are covered with short, stiff hairs that assist them in moving on the surface of the grass. You may need to control these insects curatively if damage is significant.

JAPANESE BEETLE (JB)

What happened to adult JB activity over the past week? We’ve noticed a reduction in the number of adults we are collecting from our JB traps this year. It appears that adult populations in Central PA are not as dense as they were in 2007. Perhaps the 2007 drought negatively impacted the survival of JB last year as well as affecting oviposition behavior and eventual egg hatch. We will have to wait and see how the grub populations develop. The same applies to northern masked chafer adult populations which were approximately two weeks late this year compared to 2007 emergence. Likewise we are not observing heavy adult populations. Keep scouting for both grub species to determine what is happening in your local area(s), and we will keep you posted as we continue to scout for white grub species in Central Pennsylvania.