Continuing with what could compromise your lawn’s health if left untreated or undiagnosed, we will be looking at Bill Bugs and Chinch Bugs.
Billbugs are beetles with long snouts, or bills, that carries to the tip a pair of strong jaws or mandibles of which is how the beetles chew their food. Their markings vary from clay yellow to reddish brown to jet black in color. These beetles are known for burrowing into the grass stems near the surface of the soil and the damage is caused by their feeding off the grass leaves. Billbugs are found in two forms: adult and larvae.
The adult Bill Bug looks like a small beetle and are distinguished by the long snouts, or bills, which is how they came about their name. The adult Bill Bugs feeds directly on the grass stems above the surface of the soil. The Billbug larvae look like any other grubs and as they are in the soil, they feed directly off the actual grassroots, which they can spread and create extensive damage to the lawn. Common signs that you may have Billbug issues are dead spots throughout your lawn that are not recovering. Also, since the larvae feed on the roots, you can also test the dead grass areas by pulling them out and if they release easily from the soil, then there is a good chance you are having a Bill Bug problem.
Chinch bugs are mostly found in areas of direct sunlight in the lawn and are seldom found in shady areas. Their damage is caused by how they insert their slender beak into the grass and literally suck out the plant juices. As it is doing this, the Chinch bug also releases a toxin that turns the turf area being affected to a yellowish/brownish color and the damage is noticeable by spreading patches of brown, dead grass. Most homeowners notice the dead patches of grass first along a driveway, curb, sidewalk or the foundation of the home, due to the heat emitted from such objects. Because these bugs can also fly, it is difficult to keep an area free of Chinch bugs if they are emerging from neighboring lawns or croplands.