Last week a possible case of annual bluegrass weevil was reported at a course in central Wisconsin and was confirmed as ABW last night by both UW Insect Diagnostic Lab Manager P.J. Liesch and Penn State Entomologist Dr. Ben McGraw. ABW is a serious pest of annual bluegrass that has primarily only been found in the eastern portion of the country…the closest confirmed case of ABW to Wisconsin prior to this was in Cleveland, OH. We believe ABW came in on sod that was purchased from the eastern part of the country several years ago.
While this is a significant development, there is also no need to panic. ABW spreads very slowly and is unlikely to be on many of your courses now or in the near future, but it’s still important to be aware of a new and damaging pest in the area.
I have created a webpage with answers to a few basic questions, links to additional resources, and contact information for UW Insect Diagnostic Lab Manager and PSU Professor (and ABW expert) Ben McGraw.
The website address is here: https://tdl.wisc.edu/2020/07/01/new-pest-alert-annual-bluegrass-weevil-in-wisconsin/
Even though I’m a pathologist, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have.
Paul Koch, Ph.D.
Department of Plant Pathology
Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center
University of Wisconsin – Madison