University of Florida

Hunting Billbugs

Hunting billbugs are small but damaging weevils that often infest zoysia and bermuda grasses. Adults chew on the stems, rhizomes, and stolons, while larvae bore into stems and feed on roots.

Heavily infested grass turns yellow and dies. Symptoms may be misdiagnosed as disease, drought, or a slow spring green-up.

If you suspect billbugs, start with a "tug test" to see if the damaged grass easily pulls free. Then look for sawdust-like debris inside the damaged grass tissue or small, legless white larvae in the plants or the top two inches of soil.

Keeping grass watered may help it tolerate light infestations. But if you find more than ten billbugs per square foot, an insecticide will be needed. Be sure to read the label and follow all instructions.

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