Today, we will unveil the mystery of the brown spots in your lawn and what insect is responsible. We will teach you how to be the hunter rather than the hunted because billbugs are the reason areas in your lawn are not greening up. The hunting billbug (Sphenophorus spp) is more prevalent in West Tennessee, causing damage to Zoysia and Bermuda grasses.
Billbugs usually invade in the fall, but the damage doesn’t show up until spring and can remain in your yard all summer. Here’s what happens: the female lays eggs in the stolon and in about three to 10 days, those eggs hatch and the billbug hollows out the stem. That’s a sure sign. The first step in discovery of billbugs is the tug test.
Simply try to pull up brown areas in your lawn. If infested, the turf will easily pull up. Next look for the margin between the brown spot and green area of your lawn and pull back to expose the culprit. These pests may play dead, but they are definitely active.
If you have solved the mystery of your lawn’s brown spots and have concluded it is billbugs, the best way to rid yourself of this infestation is an insecticide.
Billbugs can cause extensive damage to your lawn. Call a professional for help, 901-382-5296. Kenny Crenshaw IS the “Lemme Kill Your Weeds” guy. Herbi-Systems, Inc., locally owned since 1984, uses only licensed applicators.
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Links to more on billbugs:
https://www.herbi-systems.com/local-al… https://www.gcsaa.org/gcm/2017/july/b… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti… https://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/insect… https://academic.oup.com/jee/article/… http://turf.okstate.edu/pest-manageme… https://extension.tennessee.edu/ http://extension.msstate.edu/newslett…
Hunting Billbug photo courtesy: Doug Richmond, Entomology