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Lawn Care Blog

How Billbugs Can Cause You Lawn Care Headaches!

Billbug Lawn CareInsect infestations in your lawn are common starting in mid- to late- April and lasting until the first fall frost.

One bug that happens to favor Kentucky bluegrass is the billbug. Just like its relative, the chinch bug, the billbug will eat its way through your grass for its survival. Billbugs are also known to attack lawns in an entire neighborhood. If one of your neighbors has a billbug problem, and you have Kentucky bluegrass in your lawn, you may end up with a billbug problem too.

If you live in Akron, Columbus or Cleveland, Ohio, here’s what you need to know about billbugs:

1. Lifecycle:

  • The adult billbug overwinters in Ohio. The bugs can live in thatch, cracks, and crevices until the soil warms up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, which is usually by late April.
  • When adult billbugs emerge in the spring, it will look for grass to feed on and to lay its eggs in. Most eggs are laid inside the grass stems by mid-July.
  • After the eggs hatch, the larvae will eat its way out of the stem until it’s too big and falls to the ground where it’ll start eating grass crowns and roots.

2. Billbug diagnosis: It’s hard for homeowners to accurately diagnose a billbug problem because the bugs’ damage mimics other types of grass problems. A lawn care professional can accurately diagnose your yard for billbugs.

3. Powerless insecticides: Since billbugs have tough hides, insecticides used for other turf-damaging insects don’t work as well with billbugs.

  • Your best bet is to plant a mixed grass blend or find Kentucky bluegrass varieties that are billbug resistant.
  • Most perennial ryegrasses and fescues are also billbug resistant.
  • Turf scientists recommend that property owners, who need to replant their lawns after billbug damage, use billbug resistant Kentucky bluegrass blends or use resistant turfgrass blends.

4. Your best prevention is to be on the offensive: You can find out if you have a billbug infestation by testing your soil for billbugs.

5. Try irrigation: Since billbugs become more of a nuisance during the hottest and driest parts of the summer, give your lawn a good soaking once a week which may help reduce the number of billbugs in your yard and may prevent overall turf damage.

6. Know when the billbugs have won the war: Billbug damage is similar to other turf diseases and insect damage. Dead patches of lawn caused by billbugs look similar to dollar spot and chinch bug damage. 

  • You know that you have a billbug problem when your entire lawn is damaged
  • Your green grass changes to a white straw-like mess.
  • Turf damage becomes apparent by August.

7. Call your local lawn care service to schedule a professional insecticide application: If you and your neighbors in Akron, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio have Kentucky bluegrass on your lawn and you think that you may have a billbug problem, call Weed-Pro Lawn Care at 1-866-724-4555.

Weed Pro's Lawn Care Insect Guide

Chinch bugs can be a big problem for any lawn this spring. But what about all the other insects that can be invading your lawn? That's why Weed Pro has put together the best Lawn Insect ID Guide in the industry! The best part? It's yours absolutely free just by clicking on the link below!

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About Wendy:
Wendy Komancheck is an accomplished Freelance Writer for Trade Magazines, Websites, and Local Businesses, specializing in horticultural articles. Check out Wendy's bio and website by Clicking Here.