by / Wednesday, 03 April 2013 / Published in Insect Problems


Do you have patches of your lawn that come detached too easily when pulled? Is your lawn dying in random patches? You could be dealing with Billbugs. Read on for more information, or give us a call at (801) 261-1171 for a Free Quote!

The billbug grub is a destructive lawn-damaging insect. The Bluegrass Billbug and the recently discovered Denver Billbug are the two most common types of billbugs found in our local Utah region. Both types of adult billbug beetles spend the winter in or near the lawns they infested the previous year. In the spring, these small grey-black beetles can be seen crawling on sidewalks and driveways. Billbug beetles can be identified by their distinguishable snout, which is used for burrowing and chewing leaf blades. Both types of adult billbugs cause slight damage to turf, but lay eggs in the grass which later hatch into the lawn-damaging larvae or grub. The destructive grub chews on grass stems and feeds on the roots. Bluegrass Billbug grubs cause damage during the mid-summer months. Denver billbug grubs hatch later in the season, so damage occurs in the fall.

Signs and Symptoms:
Springtime activity of adult billbug beetles is a good indicator that grub damage is likely to occur later in the season.  Damaged turf may be easily pulled loose at the base of the plant.  Affected areas will appear as dead or dormant.  To inspect for grub presence, cut away the sod in the green margin of the damaged areas. Check the underside of the cut section and also the soil surface for a brown-headed, fat, white legless grub.

Practices for Control:

1. Billbug control applications are available through our annual lawn treatment programs. Regular treatments will help control existing damaging insects.

2. Proper fertilization will keep grass plants vigorous to minimize damage and support lawn recovery.

3. Provide adequate moisture to damaged areas.  Since roots are damaged, supplemental watering is required to sustain the injured turf and to promote re-growth.

4. Proper mowing height of 2” to 3” throughout the season will help to keep the lawn healthy to minimize billbug damage.

5. Over seed damaged areas in the fall with a good quality seed.

The Green Pointe staff is always ready to assist you with your lawn. Please call if we may provide any information to enhance your lawn’s health or appearance.

Please call our office if you have any questions or visit our “Questions” page to review other frequently asked questions and answers. (801) 261-1171