Annual bluegrass weevil larvae under damaged turf.
© bayer

After more than six years of trials across the country, the time is near for an insecticide created to help control a variety of pests.

Bayer experts discussed a new insecticide featuring the active ingredient Tetraniliprole at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando. The insecticide offers superintendents a speedy and flexible solution to rein in annual bluegrass weevil, white grubs and a bevy of caterpillars.

“They know their insect issues, they know when those outbreaks and infestations likely take place, so they can use this product at their discretion and still get the efficacy they desire,” says Paul Giordano, Ph.D., technical services manager in the Environmental Science unit. “It gets into the plant quickly and it ceases the insect’s feeding habits very quickly, within hours. We see that as a major point of differentiation versus other products in the market today.”

In more technical terms, Tetraniliprole moves through plants through xylem distribution, which causes immediate feeding cessations and quick — and visible — benefits for those plants. Needs will vary among courses and regions, but most superintendents will be able to control ABW, white grubs and caterpillars with one or two annual applications, and Tetraniliprole will allow for those applications to be effective for longer periods.

The size of white grubs in June.
© bayer

Because Bayer has been running Tetraniliprole trials for more than half a decade in all regions — and in the teeth of some abnormal weather the last couple years — “we’ve been able to address a majority of those important pests across the country,” Giordano says. All that remains is EPA registration, which Giordano and Xulin Chen, Ph.D., product development manager in Turf & Ornamentals, say they expect in the late second or early third quarter.

“You have one tool and it targets it all,” Chen says. “That’s the exciting part for me. It has this broad spectrum and it doesn’t matter if the insect is living in the soil or feeding on the roots or the grass.” Giordano adds that the product will “simplify insect management” by potentially eliminating the need for two or, for some courses, even three other insecticides focused on a single pest.

“Compared to the current standards, there have been products that have been used for decades that do a pretty good job of controlling grubs, but what they don’t do is also control ABW or also control caterpillars, so it’s picking and choosing and having to build programs with various different products,” Giordano says. “Tetraniliprole is going to be that cornerstone for insect management for just about any golf course around the country.”

And that, he says, is “what it inevitably boils down to — the customer satisfaction, the superintendent satisfaction. To allow them the flexibility to manage their insect issues the way they need to and want to based on their agronomic programs, that’s what excites me. This is a flexible tool that they currently don’t have.”