Killing Billbugs

407eastMay 22, 2012

I've been fighting what I believe is billbug damage in certain areas of my lawn for the past couple of years. They're most likely bluegrass billbugs (very black). I've just applied some Grubex a couple of weeks ahead of the recommended application dates because of the really warm weather we've been having all spring to hopefully preempt their descent into the soil and roots.

Today I spotted a couple of billbugs in the lawn which means they're still out feeding and laying their eggs. I want to try and eradicate as many of them as I can before they lay more eggs.

What's the best pesticide I can use to attack them? I have some Bayer insecticide that's meant for trees, shrubs and lawns. It's the type that absorbs into the plant and kills whatever feeds on the plant. Any thoughts?

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

These things???

Where do you live?

If it were me I'd skip the chemicals and put in a bird bath, bird feeder, and bird house.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 9:11PM
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Yup, those things!! I've been dealing with them for the past couple of years following a full yard renovation. My lawn usually looks great up until mid July when I start seeing the dead grass around the edges. Each year it gets worse and worse so I'm trying to be preemptive in dealing with them.

I live in Utah.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:26PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Utah. Thanks. I am sometimes mistaken for a tree hugger because I like organic lawn care. My first inclination to fight insects is natural predators. Birds, toads, and lizards are the more prevalent natural predators against beetles. When you spray herbicides, insecticides, and even some chemical fertilizers, you are chasing the predators away. By setting up a bird habitat, you are inviting them back despite any unforseen applications of chemicals.

Have you looked at the life cycle of these critters? Is it the adult that does the feeding and not the larvae?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:20PM
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It's the larvae that do the most damage but from what I've read the best defense is killing the adults before they lay their eggs in late spring...given the warm weather we've been having my guess is it's too late to kill the adults. I've nuked the lawn with Grubex which should kill most of the larvae but finding the adults in my lawn worries me.

Even after spraying some insecticide on the lawn I'm finding live ones still in the lawn...which further supports your advice about not using pesticides...because they apparently don't work.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 3:28AM
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