If your yard hasn't been up to snuff lately, any number of lawn pests could be at the root of the problem. One particularly nasty pest is the billbug, and if your yard has suddenly gone brown, thin, and has developed patches, the billbug may be your culprit.
Actually a small type of weevil, the billbug grows to only 1/3 of an inch. Although easy enough to spot when it's walking across a sidewalk or paved road, billbugs are almost impossible to see once they've burrowed down into the turf. That's why most people are unaware that billbugs have invaded their lawns until it's already too late.
The results of their presence, unfortunately, can soon be clearly seen. Billbugs leave a distinct calling card.
Billbugs first feed on the inside of turfgrass stems and crowns, then move to feed on roots... Fine, whitish, saw-dust-like frass can be observed on the soil surface. Damaged turf breaks at the crown and is easy to pull from the soil, but cannot be rolled up like sod damaged by white grubs (University of California).
Treating billbugs can be a complicated procedure. First you must take into account the type of grass you're dealing with. Next you must determine the extent of your infestation by checking to see how many billbugs are residing per square foot throughout your lawn. After you have gathered those facts, you must determine the right type of treatment to suit your needs.
As with many other pest infestations, treating billbugs can be complicated. That's why most people in this situation turn from questionable do-it-yourself methods and consult with pest control professionals. If you've seen evidence of billbugs in your lawn, don't wait. Make the call today.