Got Chinch Bugs?

Got a yard full of grass? Got an irrigation system you haven’t checked in a while? Well, you may be creating the perfect environment for a notorious yard pest. The chinch bug is a small pest that feeds on stressed lawns (specifically during this season, so you should really keep reading).

A southern chinch bug on grass.

There are several tips you can use to identify this pest in your own lawn. Just remember – don’t go manifesting chinch bug issues in your dying lawn. Use the guidelines below to help you rule out chinch bugs as a problem.

First tip for identifying chinch bug damage:

Damage typically starts in sunny water stressed areas.

First and foremost, check to make sure the entirety of your turf is covered by your irrigation system. A water stressed lawn will create a perfect environment for chinch bugs, so run your system and check to see your coverage.

Gauges can help you determine how much water your lawn is receiving via irrigation or seasonal rain.

Second tip for identifying chinch bug damage:

You may find them feeding near the dead patches of your lawn.

Chinch bugs can be difficult to find at times, but if you examine the dead patches in your lawn, you may be able to find some of the bugs (in one of their three stages) in the grass bordering the dead patches. You may need to separate the leaves to find them hiding.

There are several stages of chinch bugs, so keep your eye out for each one.

The final tip for identifying chinch bug damage is:

Chinch bugs typically feed on the foliage of the plant.

Therefore, most of the damage will be found on the leaves of the grass and not the roots. Look for signs of leaf damage as chinch bugs are biting insects and will leave traces of feeding.

The borders of damaged turfgrass is a great place to scout for feeding.

If you do observe that chinch bugs are feeding on your grass, there are several ways to handle the issue. Typically, chinch bugs love turf that is water stressed, so check your grass for signs of drought and check that your irrigation is covering your lawn. Chinch bugs also love thatch, which is the buildup of matter beneath the grass. There are ways to remove thatch from your lawn. Finally, there are conventional chemical methods of treatment for your lawn as well.

All lawns will have pests, but if you can identify them correctly and adjust accordingly, you can keep your lawn healthy throughout the year.

If you would like to know more about chinch bugs, click on the link below.


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Posted: May 30, 2023

Category: Horticulture, Lawn, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Chinch Bug, Chinch Bugs, Insect, Irrigation, Lawn, Ocextension, Pest Id, Residential Horticulture, Turf, Turf Pests

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