May 28, 2008

Posted: January 19, 2009

Volume 2, No. 1

– May Scouting Report



ANNUAL BLUEGRASS WEEVIL (formerly Hyperodes weevil): This weevil pest continues to be a major threat to Poa fairways, green, collars, tees, etc. Annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) adult spring activity was first reported in PA this year in the Philadelphia area around April 14, in the Pittsburg area around April 19, Williamsport area around May 2, and in Central City around May 8. Recently entomologists from several NE states have been collaborating on this pest through the NE1025 research project. If you would like to participate in a survey on both anthracnose and annual bluegrass weevil then proceed to the following url - As of the week of May 26 young instar larvae of ABW were collected from a golf course fairway located in Central PA.

Recently some entomologists in the NE US have indicated that select annual bluegrass weevil populations are exhibiting resistance to the pyrethroid class of insecticide. Entomologists are collaborating with golf course superintendents in various states to collect ABW adults, then expose these adults to a pyrethroid insecticide treated paper filter disc. Next results from the treated paper filter disc will be compared to untreated check paper filter discs. The latter evaluation method was developed by Dr. Rich Cowles (CT AG EXPT STN). To date our program has evaluated ABW adults from four courses located in PA. Only one of these courses exhibited resistance to a pyrethroid insecticide in the preliminary study. Adults collected from the other three courses did not demonstrate resistance to this class of insecticide. However, we will have to continue monitoring ABW populations for resistance issues in the future. The USGA is very concerned about ABW as its distribution increases and as it moves into the mid-Atlantic area.


This turfgrass pest continues to increase in numbers across the state of Pennsylvania. BTA usually is associated with golf course turfgrass. BTA overwinters as an adult and produces two generations each year. A key to controlling this insect is to rely on plant phenological indicators in the spring which can assist you in timing your application of a registered preventive control measure. You can view drawings of the adult insect and the respective raster pattern at the Ohioline web site at


We have observed numerous golf course roughs with increasing populations of ground nesting bees. Ground nesting bees create individual holes in turf and include membrane, digger, sweat, mason, and leafcutter bees. These bees generally prefer nesting in areas with morning sun exposure and well-drained soil containing little organic matter. Burrows are excavated in areas of bare ground or sparse vegetation. Ground nesting bees usually avoid damp soils. These insects usually are considered nuisance pests but are becoming more economically important since some species serve as pollinators. Since we are concerned with problems associated with honey bees (i.e., honey bee colony collapse disorder), these insects may become more important in the future as potential pollinators for various crops.



This billbug species initiated its 2008 adult activity at University Park, PA on April 29. Our turfgrass project monitors adult HB by relying on pitfall traps located at the Valentine Turfgrass Research Center. The cool wet spring weather held back maximum adult activity at our location until the week of May 26. Previously HB usually was associated with warm season turfgrasses. However, over the past five years HB has taken over the range of bluegrass billbug in PA and remains a major threat to residential lawns, athletic fields, and golf courses. Refer to the image below for billbug larvae.


Adults were collected from a black light trap located at Penn State’s Valentine Turfgrass Research Center during the week of May 26. This scarab beetle requires three years to complete one life cycle.


In May we received samples and reports of 4-6 inch soil chimneys being observed on the surface of residential lawns. In 2008 periodical cicada emergence will be heavy in select PA counties. You can refer to a Penn State news release on periodical cicada at

Spring periodical cicada nymphs may build 4-8 inch soil tubes above the surface of the turfgrass (mid-May) to avoid extremely moist soil prior to emerging as adult cicadas. A second animal which builds soil chimneys is a crayfish. A web sites for you to visit to view crayfish soil chimneys is at


Recently Dupont’s Acelepryn™ Insecticide (EPA Reg No. 352-731) was registered for use against select turfgrass insect pests. You can review information about this new product by going to Dupont’s web site at . Likewise you can review the individual label at

Please refer to the Dupont™ Acelepryn™ Insecticide Label for specific information on turfgrass pests listed on the label, use sites, who can apply this product, rates, optimum time to apply the product, user safety recommendations, restrictions, personal protective equipment and related information.