Billbugs are insects that love to live in the gardens and lawns due to the high quantity of favorable food available. These are the creepy crawlies that ruin the entire lawn by cutting the roots of the grass, which results in the yellowish or brown patches in the lawn.
If you are also a victim then keep on reading this post, we will explain all that you need to know about billbugs, tips to control them, and the killing products.
Distinguishing billbugs from the grubs is very difficult because they are look-alike of white grubs. The only difference you can see in the larvae of these two is that the grubs’ larvae have legs and billbugs’ larvae do not have legs. Similar to grubs, they also shrink their body when touched or feel any activity around them.
They love to stay hidden under the soil about 1-2 inches deep, but you can identify their presence under the soil where thinning or yellowing of grass has developed. If you touch that spot with your hand it would be very soft and delicate to pull out.
Adult billbugs have a hard and darkish-brown textured shell masking their complete body. They also look weird and wild. They can release a smelly chemical when smashed. This liquid may cause skin irritation or allergy for humans and pets at home.
Why and how to control billbugs?
A simple answer to why to control billbugs is that they destroy the entire effort you have put in to make a beautiful lawn. Hence, they live under the soil and near the roots, so they keep on feeding on the roots of the grass and make the soil brittle. When the larvae grow up and become adults they also approach other plants in the lawn and eat them.
Now coming towards how to control billbugs, it would be fair to say that you must inspect the spots where they are present in larger amounts, and then decide to perform killing. The larvae can be easily caught by pulling the bare and weak patches with the hands by putting gloves on. To control the billbugs, it is important to take action in the late spring or early summer before they get multiplied quickly and become uncontrollable. Keep in mind that if you will not take the right action on time, then you will have to lay a new lawn from scratch.
Approaches to kill billbugs:
You must be familiar with the appearance of billbugs and the destruction they are expected to cause to your lawn. To kill these opponents, there are 2 approaches:
- By using a contact killer.
- By using a systemic killer.
A contact killer is a chemical that is used for specific areas or surfaces to kill the beetles, billbugs, and other invasive insects in the lawn. If you apply the contact killer on your plants, then adult beetles would have to eat them to get killed. No one is sure about whether the adult billbugs will eat that plant coated with contact killer or not. But if you have a smaller lawn or infected area, then you can go for this approach.
The next approach is to use the systemic killer. A systemic killer is absorbed nicely by the roots of the plants and makes the entire body of the plant poisonous for the billbugs. So, it’s a yes! You can easily use these types of killers in your lawn by just using an applicator or a spreader. They are available in both granules and liquid forms, but the liquid one is most preferred by the users. Systemic killers are capable of killing the billbugs over and under the soil. Therefore, it is recommended by the agricultural experts.
Advice: Always choose the systemic killer that holds the compounds like chlorantraniliprole, clothianidin, imidacloprid, or thiamethoxam. They act faster and do not hurt other plants, but are fatal for billbugs and other disturbing insects in your lawn.
James, the D.I.Y Expert, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University. Love writing blog posts and guides to help others learn how to garden!