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What are billbugs you might be asking. Billbugs are a common turf pest. They’re a beetle that falls under the weevil family. Depending on the species they range from ½”-1” in length. They have a noticeable snout that is similar looking to an elephant’s trunk. They’re normally gray to brown in color. During the larval stage they have a white, grub like appearance with no legs .

These pests are resilient and thrive in a variety of climates. During the warm summer months, adults will travel over driveways and walk ways to infest new yards. They may gather on home sidings, but they rarely come into the house. When they’re around doors and windows they may wonder inside, but they can’t survive long away from the lawn or garden.

They can be a serious lawn pest, but are harmless to pets and people. Billbugs feed on grasses and garden crops. Damage occurs when adults cut into the stem to lay eggs and feed on the plant’s juices. Larvae eat the plants stems and roots that are underground. You can even find that large infestations can cause other pests to come into the yard including birds, wasps and even skunks like to feed on billbugs.

Billbugs most commonly spawn one generation per year though reproductive can vary depending on the species and the location. Adults usually overwinter in leaf litter and lawn thatch prior to laying eggs in a chamber they cut in the grass stems. Billbug grubs hatch about 1-3 weeks later and begin inside the plant stem.

The most visible signs of billbug damage are dead spots in the grass that do not “green up” after watering. It is important to have a professional inspect the patches of dead grass to determine what is causing the damage since it can be drought, fungus or insects. To inspect for damage, pull up the dead grass. If it easily come out of the ground it could be billbug larvae damage to the roots.