ABW, or the annual bluegrass weevil, is one of the most difficult to control pests in turfgrass management. Check out the video/transcript below to learn how can we definitively diagnose an annual bluegrass weevil problem, how to control it, and more. 

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Nikki with Advanced Turf Solutions, and in today’s video, we’re going to talk about the annual bluegrass weevil: some ways to scout it and some ways to control it.

Typically, ABW damage will first look like dry spots on greens, tees, and fairways. The annual bluegrass weevil is primarily a pest of bentgrass and Poa annua.

So, diagnosing ABW is really going to have you get on the ground with a cup cutter and you’re going to be looking through that turf, like the thatch area and in the crown of the plant, for the actual weevil grub, the weevil larvae. Typically, when you have an issue, is when you’re going to start doing the problem. So, you’re going to see kind of a general thinning of turf, and you’re going to look in those dry spots and, kinda at the edge of that, and actually try to locate the actual larvae.

To prevent ABW, you need to start with scouting. You can scout for adult weevils when they’re coming from their overwintering locations in taller mowed turf onto your greens and tees. You can do this by doing pitfall traps, or by doing soap trenches. The soap drench would consist of one to two ounces of lemon-scented soap and put it in about five gallons of water. And you can pour that in some areas and wait for the adults to bubble up. That’s the best way to scout for them.

So, if you know you’re going to have a problem or you’ve had an issue in the past and you want to do preventative control, then we’re going to start using some chemicals. Things like your organophosphates, your synthetic pyrethroids are going to be aimed at that adult if you want to try to prevent that lifecycle.

I will say switch your chemistry. Acelepryn is another one and Bayer’s Tetrino that just came out this year are some that you can also use preventatively. But make sure that you switch your chemistry because out on the East Coast we are already seeing signs of organophosphate and pyrethroid resistance to those chemicals.

So, if you have an issue with ABW and you need to do a curative application, your best options are still to go with those synthetic pyrethroids, the organophosphates, or you could also use something like MatchPoint, which is spinosad. Things like that. You could also go with something like clothianidin or Arena.

There are a lot of challenges when trying to control ABW. The biggest one is knowing when they’re moving on to the tees and greens in the spring because they’ll have multiple generations. Throughout the year, you can find several different stages of larvae and the adults all at the same time on your turf.

ABW will go through five instars of larvae. The first three feed within the stem and, then after that, it actually moves down and starts feeding on the crown. So, you can have ones feeding in the stem, in the crown, and adults at the same period of time. So, really know what you’re going after. If you’re going to have an issue, scouting is really important on that front end and knowing when that pest is moving into the area. Be sure to reach out to your local Advanced Turf representative. You can always go to advancedturf.com to find a representative near you.