We are experiencing an infestation of Hunting Billbugs in West Tennessee. Here are some FAQs and pictures for you to view to better understand what to look for.
Q: What are Hunting Billbugs?
A: An adult billbug is a 1/5" to 3/4" long beetle that lays its larvae in the stems of your grass blades. They predominately feed on Bermuda and Zoysia grasses.
Q: How do I get Billbugs?
A: There is no definite answer to this; however, we believe it may come from billbug-infested sod from other areas in or out of the state. If the sod is transferred to another area, the billbugs are as well. The same goes for plants/shrubs that may be infested and then transferred to another area.
Q: How do I know if my lawn has Billbugs?
A: To find out if your lawn has billbugs look for "dead" spots in your lawn. If you find one, simply pull the grass back to see if the roots are still in place or dig down a bit to see if you can spot the bug itself.
Q: How do the billbugs cause damage?
A: Billbugs cause damage by laying their larvae and after they hatch by eating the root of your grass. The adult Billbug will eat the grass on top. So, you may not immediately see any damage. In fact, the damage may not even show up until Spring when the grass tries to come out of dormancy.
Q: Is their anything as a homeowner I can do to prevent these?
A: The best prevention is to sign up for 2 insecticide treatments per year, one during the April/May timeframe and the other during the September/October timeframe. Costs: *Each insecticide treatment is a minimum of $200.00 and you would receive a Systemic (which, weather-depending, continues to work for approximately 6 months) and a Contact that kills as soon as it is applied.
Please keep in mind these treatments will also kill and prevent Army Worms, Chinch Bugs, and Fleas/Ticks. Basically, it will get rid of any insect that "chews" on your grass. The Japanese Beetles, Bag Worms, and Scale would be a separate treatment and charge.
If you are interested in the 2 prevention treatments per year please let us know.
We will be doing the Fall lawn treatments and while our employees are out they will check other lawns for any Billbug damage and we will let the homeowner know IF they have them. If you do have damage, our employees will document it and let us know whether or not you prefer to do preventative treatments.