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Billbug - Larval Stage

Billbug – Larval Stage

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Lawn damaged from billbugs

Lawn damaged from billbugs

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Lawn damaged from billbugs easily rolls up.

Lawn damaged from billbugs easily rolls up.

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ID Features:

  • Immature –  Similar to white grubs.  Main difference being billbugs lack legs.
  • Adult   –  Dark gray to black beetles with long snouts.

Damaging Stage:  Larval Stage

Damaging Period:  Not often seen until late in the year.  Usually after a drought.

Optimum Control Period:  Early summer

Damage & Signs of Activity:  When the turf is pulled it breaks off easily at the crown.   A sawdust like material is often visible in the root zone.   Damaged turf appears as spotty patches of yellow or dead grass.

Billbug Treatments:  

  1. Surface Insecticide Treatment –  This treatment is recommended in the late spring/early summer and is meant to control adult billbugs before they are able to lay their eggs.
  2. Aeration with seeding or sodding may be required to repair damaged areas. A perennial rye grass seed is recommended as it appears to have the highest resistance to billbugs.