Chinch bugs are tiny menaces that pose a huge threat to your lawn if left uncontrolled. Adult chinch bugs measure about ⅕” long, and they are distinguishable by their slender black bodies with white wings. Recently hatched nymphs, on the other hand, are pinkish red and don’t have wings. They also have a pale band across their backs and a ferocious appetite.
Chinch bugs have most commonly been seen to attack St. Augustine grass, but can also infest zoysia or Bermuda grass, too. Once your lawn has been infected, you will see expanding, irregular patches of dead grass encircled by a halo of yellow, dying grass.
Chinch bugs have many natural predators including birds and big-eyed bugs. The best way to prevent chinch bug infestations is to ensure that there are healthy levels of natural predators in and around your yard. Keep beneficial predator insects around by avoiding the widespread, pervasive use of lawn chemicals and chemical pesticides.
Check for Chinch Bugs
If you notice an affected area that matches the description given above, you will want to check to make sure there are chinch bugs there before you apply pesticides. You’ll also want to know where they’ve spread. This is hard to do with the naked eye, just looking at the grass, because of their size. The easiest way to do this is to take a coffee can, cut out the bottom, push it down about an inch into your turf and fill it with water. If there are chinch bugs in that area, they will float to the top.
When you see signs of damage and identify where the chinch bugs currently are, treat only those specific areas with insecticidal soaps. Make sure to target your treatment to where you are sure there are chinch bugs to minimize the detrimental impact on your lawn’s environment.
Chinch bugs can cause serious damage to your grass and lawn, but do not be discouraged. If you are looking for a new start, shop our online store or contact The Grass Outlet today to discuss your options.