Billbugs are brown, gray, or black beetles that have a long snout. Adults can range from ⅕ to ¾ of an inch long. Billbug larvae dull white, legless, with a brownish-yellow head. Adults will hide at the base of plants during the day, are often covered with soil, and will play dead if disturbed.
Adult Billbugs will chew through young plants which will result in holes across emerging leaves. Larvae will feed inside the base of the stem and roots causing serious injury. Feeding by several larvae on a single plant may prevent ear development. Injury to most plants happens in the early tillered stages and will be stunted with twisted leaves.
Best time to scout is VE through V4. Scouting in low-lying wet areas that have weeds