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Archive for July, 2014

annual bluegrass weevil pupa transparent in colour and resembling adult - photo credit Emily Harwig

annual bluegrass weevil pupa – photo credit Emily Hartwig

spots of yellow to tan annual bluegrass damaged by annual bluegrass weevil feeding

annual bluegrass weevil damage


A new round of yellowing annual bluegrass is evident now. This appears to be damage caused by either the second generation of the annual bluegrass weevil larvae (ABW) feeding or the last of the late migration of the first wave of ABW. We are finding mostly pupae now. It is very confusing. Either way, the way this season is playing out it seems that ABW populations have not been synchonous and we could still see some ABW damage in the future. The good news is that the turf is not really under any stress so the damage that we have witnessed and heard about is pretty minimal.

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The other weevil

close up of white bluegrass billbug larvae with brown heads

Bluegrass billbug larvae

Sawdust like billbug excrement in thatch

Bluegrass billbug frass

Bluegrass billbug damage (the other weevil that feeds on turf) is showing up now on homelawn turf. It seems to be causing damage to Kentucky bluegrass (it’s favourite food source) and fine fescue. The telltale signs are turf that pulls out easily at the crown and sawdust frass in the thatch. It appears that we are at the peak of the damage as most of the weevils that we are finding are third instar. Consider overseeding damaged areas with endophytic species of perennial ryegrass, fine fescue or tall fescue to help prevent bluegrass billbug damage in the future.

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Chinch revving up

Second instar hairy chinch bug nymph

Second instar hairy chinch bug nymph


We (my summer student Emily Hartwig and I) have begun bio-insecticide trials on hairy chinch bugs with Dr. Michael Brownbridge and his crew from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. Chinch bugs are abundant, but still quite small at our test sites in Orangeville. The photo is one of the 2nd instar nymphs that we collected and Emily photographed. Those of you in more southerly areas will be seeing the larger nymphs now. We found out that chinch bugs love to congregate in black composted bark that is often used to overseed damaged turf areas. When we poked around in those areas they were literally crawling with little red early instar chinch bug nymphs. Expect to see damage in a week in the southerly areas and probably in two weeks in the more central and northern areas. The new formulation of MET52 is labelled for hairy chinch bugs but we do not have any first-hand experience with this product.

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Two brown patch rings meeting to form the number 8

Two brown patch rings meeting to form the number 8

Brown patch symptoms - light yellow ring - on creeping bentgrass green

Brown patch symptoms

The steamy night on Sun. July 20th started the development of brown patch again this summer on closely mowed golf course turf. The forecast is for one more night like this and then the night time temperatures are going to cool to the mid-low teens. This should keep the brown patch at bay, but look for the symptoms to intensify for one or two more days before they subside.

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Bad news – black cutworms are feeding on golf greens. Good news – they are large caterpillars now and probably almost finished feeding.

Bad news – annual bluegrass weevil adults are being found on golf greens. The good news is the weevils have finished feeding and there should be no further damage from the weevils this summer.

Bad news – hairy chinch bug nymphs are developing quickly. The good news is that having adequate rains may limit their feeding damage over the next couple of weeks.

Bad news – black turfgrass ataenius grubs are feeding and growing quickly and there will be damage visible shortly. The good news ………. oops there is now good news with this one.

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Japanese beetle trap with floral lure and pheromone

Japanese beetle trap with floral lure and pheromone

shiny metallic Japanese beetle on close cut turf

Japanese beetle adult

If you guessed Japanese beetle – good job! Emily Hartwig (my summer student) and I put out our Japanese beetle traps yesterday and low and behold 24 hours later we have 11 and counting. I think we were early enough to catch the first adult flights and we will continue to monitor adult populations for the next month and report periodically on the status of Japanese beetles. Interestingly enough, we also had 2 European chafer adults in the trap first thing in the morning. I don’t think the traps are supposed to attract European chafer, so this must have been a fluke.

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Protection Guide for Turfgrass  publication cover photo

Protection Guide for Turfgrass


The new OMAFRA Protection Guide for Turfgrass Publication 384 is now available online in English and French. It contains all of the pesticides (fungicides, insecticides and herbicides) registered for use on turf as of Dec. 2013. Information in this guide is for sod farmers, golf courses and contains information on Class 11 pesticide actives registered for use under the cosmetic pesticide ban in Ontario. Here is the link – http://www.ontario.ca/bwg3. This guide replaces the 2009 version of OMAFRA Publication 384 and the 2012 Suppliment. If you are interested in this publication you may also be interested in OMAFRA Guide to Nursery and Landscape Plant Production and IPM. Here is the link – http://www.ontario.ca/bwa5

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1st small white instar black turfgrass ataenius grub - photo credit Emily Hartwig

1st instar black turfgrass ataenius grub – photo credit Emily Hartwig

light brown to red callow annual bluegrass weevil adult - photo credit Emily Harwig

callow annual bluegrass weevil adult – photo credit Emily Harwig

annual bluegrass weevil pupa transparent in colour and resembling adult - photo credit Emily Harwig

annual bluegrass weevil pupa – photo credit Emily Hartwig

I am not really sure what a turf insect grand slam would be, but it seemed like a catchy title for today’s blog. We (Peter Purvis, GTI and Emily Hartwig, my summer student and I) are finding the following insects in the following stages now.
– annual bluegrass weevil pupae
– annual bluegrass weevil callow adult (the newly emergeed ABW adult that is a light reddish brown colour)
– black turfgrass ataenius adults
– black turfgrass ataenius 1st instar grubs – some cup changer plugs with 10 or greater grubs
– European chafer adults (adult chafers in peak flight right now)
adult light brown European chafer beetle on golf course turf

adult European chafer

At this point the majority of the annual bluegrass weevil damage is over. Peak black turfgrass ataenius damage is probably at 3-4 weeks away and based on our monitoring so far the damage could be extensive. Peak European chafer damage is well ……at least 2-3 months away. Not sure how much damage there will be. It depends a lot on how much rain we have over that time period.

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brown patch on research green with yellow borders and green centre

brown patch on research green


Sometime over the weekend leading up to Canada Day brown patch disease developed in the Guelph area as predicted. I noticed it on Canada Day morning. Symptoms are most evident in a fertilizer trial which is consistent with nitrogen being a contributor to brown patch disease development. Thank goodness the weather pattern is changing and disease development will stop. It may take up to a week for the disease symptoms to disappear, but the disease itself should not be active over the next few days until the temperature and humidity ramp up again. Nighttime temperatures are not supposed to reach 20C for a week and then only for one day, so hopefully the brown patch symptoms will be long gone by then.

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