Billbugs

Billbug Identification Guide

Learn How To Identify Bluegrass Billbugs (Snout Beetles)

  Print Article By DoMyOwn staff


Overview

What Is A Billbug?

Billbugs are small beetles that feed on and lay eggs in turf grass. Billbug larvae cause the most damage to turf as they feed on the grass blades and eventually the roots.

It is important to be able to identify the adult and immature billbugs so you can detect them early, before extensive damage occurs.


Appearance

There are several species of billbugs, but they all look very similar. Billbugs, also called snout beetles, are hard sided beetles which are dark or black in color and about a half inch long. They have long snouts, or bills, which helps to distinguish this beetle from others. They are slow moving and play dead if disturbed.


Billbug Larvae

Billbug larvae cause the most damage, making correctly identifying them very important. Larvae are white and legless, with darker heads. They are fairly small, and full grown larvae will only be about 1/2 inch long. You will find these larvae in the crown of your turf as well as below the thatch layer, not necessarily in the soil.

White grubs and billbug larvae can often get confused for each other. Remember, white grubs are c-shaped, creamy white, with dark heads and defined legs. They can be up to an inch long when full grown and live in the soil feeding on roots of the grass. Billbug larvae are legless and not c-shaped.

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