Early billbug activity – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Early billbug activity

It appears that our unseasonably warm spring has pushed the activity of many insects as much as 2-3 weeks ahead of traditional expectations. Among the turfgrass insects that are showing up early this year are the billbugs. These insects over-winter as adult weevils and become active in the spring when soil temperatures reach about 50°F, which is normally sometime toward the end of April or early May. Adults feed, mate and lay eggs during May and continue to do so well into June. We can usually count on seeing significant numbers of larvae showing up in the soil during the last half of June with visible damage close on their heels. However, field surveys conducted just this week indicate that significant numbers of small billbug larvae are already showing up in the soil in northern and central Indiana . The bottom line…expect billbug damage to be earlier and possibly more severe this year. We’ll be working this month to develop and fine tune curative control strategies which are presently less than ideal for these insects.
For more information on curative billbug control, visit http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/report/2006/index.htm and click on “Post-Application Irrigation and the Curative Efficacy of Allectus, Merit and Arena on Billbug Larvae in Kentucky Bluegrass Turf” in the Integrated Pest Management Section

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