Maintain Healthy Lawn
A healthy lawn can withstand minor infestations of billbugs. To keep it healthy and to get rid of that thatch, aerate it at least once every two to four years. Add about a 1/4 inch of organic material such as peat moss, composted municipal sludge, or sifted compost each year to virtually eliminate the buildup of thatch that serves as protection for billbugs. If thatch does accumulate, remove it when it exceeds 1/4 inch thick. Use only slow release nitrogen fertilizer on the lawn.
Encourage Insect Predators
Many beneficial insects inhabit a healthy lawn that has not been sprayed with a broad spectrum insecticide for at least a year. Spiders, ants, soldier beetles, rove beetles, and many other insects collectively will control most billbug populations so they never become a problem.