Billbug

During June, July, and early August, damage may occur as spotty patches of yellowing dead grass as a result of larval feeding.  Injury often occurs adjacent to sidewalks and driveways but is not limited to these areas.  It may also occur over the entire lawn.  Masses of fine, sawdustlike frass (insect droppings) found at the crown of plants almost certainly identifies billbug damage.

   

Bluegrass Billbug

Dark gray to black adults about one-third inch long leave overwintering sites during warm, sunny days in May and June and can be seen walking over pavement as they seek feeding and egg-laying sites.  Eggs are deposited in the stems just above the crown.  Young larvae feed in the stems.  As they grow, the white, leggless, brown-headed larvae leave the stems to feed externally in the crown of turfgrass plants.  During warm, sunny days of September, adults of the new generation are seen migrating over pavement in their search for hibernation quarters.

Copyright 2003 Squan One

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