Billbugs are beetles in the weevil family that are black or dark gray to brown in color. They have a snout that looks like a tiny version of an elephant’s trunk and is about ½ to 1 inch long. The larva looks like grub and is white with no legs and curved, cream-colored bodies with a brown head. The adults aren’t the ones that cause most of the damage, the larvae do. The damage is caused by hollowing out the grass stems and chewing off the roots. They will eat inside the stem and tunnel down to the thatch where they will eat the crown and roots. Billbug larva nearby will result in moist, light-brown frass near the crown of the plant. The grass turns brown and dies in expanding patches from mid-June to late August. They will spend the winter in thatch, soil cervices, under mulch and leaf litter, returning in mid-to-late spring when the temperature of the soil gets above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when you might see them walking on sidewalks. The damage from billbugs will show up in late March through early August. You will see spotty patches that are yellow and brown on your lawn. Heavy infestation left untreated will lead to extensive browning and turf death.

Billbug Prevention

To prevent billbugs, you can use turf grass that is resilient to them and uses control products. Use lawn care and mowing methods that minimize the amount of thatch. That will also increase the health of your lawn. Thatch buildup will reduce water movement and soil minerals to the plant, making it a great habitat for billbugs to thrive. Heavy infestations of billbugs will not only kill your grass but can attract mammals like skunks and raccoons that will damage your grass when they eat the grubs. They will dig up and damage the lawn when looking for the grubs. The grass will lift very easily when its pulled. Female billbugs will further damage the grass when they cut small holes in the stems and lay eggs. Controlling billbugs means that the right products will need to be used at the right time. Adult billbugs and the larva both need different treatments because of their feeding habits and the changes in their harborage. Early control is the easiest way to prevent damage. Controlling billbugs with insecticides is hard when they are in the larval stage because they are protected within the plants. Older larvae stay in the root zone where it’s difficult for insecticides to get to. Smaller areas that are damaged will come back if the billbugs are killed. Water and fertilize the lawn to stimulate new growth. Then you can reseed large areas or resod. Make sure to maintain the right amount of moisture in the soil and the correct fertilization schedule.

Billbug & Lawn Pest Control

Billbugs are a threat to lawns and turf areas and early spring is the best time to apply insecticides to kill the insects before eggs are laid. Healthy lawns do much better than those in bad shape when it comes to infestations, so take care of it now and call Rentokil Lawn Care & Pest Control at the first signs of billbugs affecting your lawn!

Billbug Prevention & Lawn Pest Control Treatment; How to Get Rid of Billbugs in Your Tremonton, UT Yard in Salt Lake County and Northern Utah

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