Description, Elimination of Billbug Infestations
Adult billbugs are weevils 1/5 to 3/4 inch long. The reddish-brown
to black adults have a pair of jaws at the tip of a long snout which resembles a
bill. The young are white, legless grubs about 3/8 inch in length with the
rear end wider than the head. Adults feed above ground and deposit eggs in the
stems of host grasses.
Hatching larvae feed within the stems; larger larvae feed on the crown; mature
larvae feed on the roots of the turf. Zoysiagrass and Bermudagrass are
most often injured, but, feeding may occur on many grasses. In heavy
infestations, roots of grass are destroyed and the turf killed in irregular
Damage from billbugs differs from white grub or mole cricket injured turf as
infested soil usually stays firm.
Damage to turfgrass from insect pests takes many forms:
Feeding by soil-inhabitants such as white grubs, billbugs,
and mole crickets usually shows up as wilted,
dead or dying grass. Sod may be disturbed in areas where wildlife or pets dig up
Damage to turf by thatch inhabitants such as sod webworms, armyworms
and cutworms is apparent when grass is cut off close
to the ground. Damage by chinch bugs and
spittlebugs, also thatch inhabitants, is similar
to damage caused by soil inhabitants.
Irregular spots of yellowish turf and dead spots may occur where chinch bug or spittlebug
infestations go uncontrolled. Identifying your pest will save you time, money and your
Billbug infestations can be controlled with the use of Acephate, a
systemic insecticide in soluble powder concentrate. Due to the offensive
odor of Acephate, many people will choose to use Permethrin Pro or
Talstar One. Both of these concentrates
can be used indoors as well as outdoors for various pests. Talstar has the
longest residual of the two.
A one pound container of Acephate will treat 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of
Use 1 ounce Permethrin Pro per 1,000 square feet of turf.
Use 1/2 ounce Talstar per 1,000 square feet of turf.
Control Lawn Pests Household