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Billbug Season in the Boise Area – By Kirk Dean

It’s unbelievable, but it is already June.  That means bug season is upon us!

Though I’m afraid of Earwigs, Spiders, and Bed Bugs, there is an insect that causes more damage (actual, not psychological….Bed Bugs wins that one hands down) than all these put together:  The Billbug.

Adult Billbug
Adult Billbug

Adult billbugs are weevils that become active around mid-May.  Shortly thereafter females lay eggs inside grass stems.  7-14 days later, a white, legless, brown-headed larva emerges and begins to feed on grass stems, roots and crowns.

Billbug Larva
Billbug Larva

The effect of this feeding is often very destructive to your lawn.  In July and August the damage becomes very evident, and control options are much more difficult at that time.

Billbug Lawn Damage

With Billbugs, prevention is definitely the best medicine.  One treatment with a systemic insecticide applied in May-June will successfully prevent a billbug infestation for the remainder of the growing season.  This systemic insecticide is taken up by the grass roots and then incorporated into the plant.  As Billbug Larva feed on the grass, they ingest a lethal dose of the insecticide & quickly die.  The plant retains enough insecticide in its system to kill any remaining stragglers over the coming months.

The funny thing about Billbugs is that there is no way to know beforehand if you’ll get them or not, kind of like the chickenpox.  But, as with chicken pox, you can effectively immunize your lawn to prevent a problem, a treatment that can be much less expensive than re-seeding or re-sodding your lawn.

For help with detecting a potential Billbug problem, Click here to view our instructional video.

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Service Area (Southwest Idaho)

Our pest control services are also available in Boise, Garden City, Eagle, Emmett, Meridian, Kuna, Nampa, Melba, Middleton, Star, Marsing, Homedale, Caldwell and Mountain Home.