4 Things Homeowners Need To Know About Billbugs
There are many types of pests that can destroy your nice, green lawn, including billbugs. Billbugs are weevils that feed on the stems, crowns, and roots of your grass, which leaves unsightly brown patches in your lawn. Here are four things you need to know about billbugs.
How do you identify them?
Billbugs are very small and only reach lengths of up to 11 millimeters. They have six legs, short, broad bodies, and pointed snouts. Generally, their bodies are coated with soil due to their habitat, but if they're clean, you'll notice that their body is grey to black. You may also notice that they look greasy.
Where are they found?
Billbugs have a very large range. The northernmost part of their range is southern Canada and they can be found as far south as Argentina. They can be found in all of the continental United States.
Within their range, they live in fields and wet areas and feed on both grasses and sedges. You may find them living in your lawn. They are outdoor pests, so you don't need to worry about them infesting your house.
Unlike some other types of lawn pests, they prefer lawns that are highly-maintained, so if your lawn is well-watered and well-fertilized, you may be more likely to encounter billbugs.
What are the signs of an infestation?
In the early stages of a billbug infestation, your lawn will appear undamaged. At this point, you may see adult billbugs crawling across your patio stones, driveway, or other areas adjacent to lawns. Later, you will start to see brown patches of grass popping up across your well-maintained lawn.
To confirm that billbugs are the cause of the dead grass, pull on the affected grass. If billbugs are responsible for the damage, the grass will snap off easily, and the stems will be either hollow or filled with a material that looks like sawdust.
How can you get rid of them?
If your lawn is infested, you can kill the billbugs with insecticides. Choose a grub-killing insecticide and apply it to your entire lawn, then water your lawn to allow the insecticide to penetrate to the roots. Make sure not to overwater as this will just wash the insecticides away. Don't forget to also treat nearby plants like trees and shrubs as billbugs may be feeding on them as well.
If you don't want to use insecticides, billbugs can also be killed with natural methods. You can add parasitic nematodes, a type of worm, to your lawn. Nematodes are widely available at garden stores and feed on lawn pests such as billbugs. Nematodes eat both adult billbugs and larvae, which makes them very effective.
If you need help getting rid of the billbugs in your lawn, contact a pest control company, such as Cascade Exterminating Service LLC.