Billbug adults are only 1/4- to 3/8-inch long and dark grey to black. The larvae are white with a brown head and look like legless white grubs.
How Can Billbugs Ruin Your Lawn?
Billbug damage usually appears in late-June through August, when summer drought stress is common.
- Light infestations in lawns often produce small dead spots that look like the turf disease, dollar spot. Sometimes the damage looks like irregular dead spots or browning in the turf.
- Heavy infestations can result in complete destruction of the turf, usually by August.
The major problem with billbugs is that lawn damage can be sometimes confused with a variety of other problems. Billbug-damaged turf turns whitish and can be straw colored. Soil under damaged turf is solid, not spongy as in white grub attacks.
To confirm billbug-damaged areas, grasp the dying turf and pull upward. If the stalks break easily at ground level and the stems are hollowed out or are full of packed sawdust looking material, billbugs are most likely the culprit.
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