Billbug in Florida
Over the past 10 to 15 years, billbugs have become an increasingly expensive pest to deal with around Florida. Their ability to damage turfgrass makes them a formidable nuisance on residential and commercial lawns, golf courses, sports fields, and sod production farms. Billbugs are a type of weevil, so you can identify them by their long, curved snout protruding from their heads beyond their antennae. They have shiny black bodies with tinges of green and red as well as two distinct curved markings on their wing caps.
Billbugs will live wherever there is healthy turfgrass to consume around Florida. This could extend from spaces as large as sod production fields or as small as a residential lawn. Here in the south, billbugs sometimes see an extra reproductive cycle during particularly successful years, meaning that both adults and larvae will overwinter in and around turfgrass to return in even larger numbers in the spring. Larvae will live anywhere from just below the surface to about 3 inches deep underneath, while adults do their damage at the surface of the lawn, attacking the crown of the grass.
Billbug Behaviors, Threats, & Dangers
Billbugs cause the most amount of damage in the early summer. During the period of highest heat and drought potential, billbugs tear through the surface of lawns while their larvae eat away at the roots. Because of the coincidence of the summer season with peak billbug activity, billbug damage is often mistaken for drought symptoms. Fortunately, billbugs pose no medical threat to humans. If you are dealing with a Billbug problem, it is best to contact a licensed exterminator.
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