Symptoms of Billbugs
Most damage is usually noted from mid-June through July. The grass appears brownish or there may appear small circular patterns that turn yellowish and brown. Dead sections of grass will lift away easily from soil. Mature turf stands are injured more than younger grass that less than three years old.
Confirm You Have Billbugs
Adult billbugs may be spotted on sidewalks and driveways in May and June. Where billbugs are suspected, cut the bottom from a can, push it a few inches into the soil where the grass is beginning to turn brown. Fill the can with warm water mixed with liquid detergent (about two tablespoons per gallon). If present, billbugs will move to the thatch surface within a few minutes.
How many are too many?
It does not take many billbugs to cause trouble. As few as one adult or 10 larvae per square foot of lawn can make action necessary.