Chinch Bugs

Chinch Bugs

Chinch Bugs feed on many kinds of lawn grasses, but St. Augustine grass is a favorite. Both the adults and the nymphs suck the juices out of the blades. At the same time, they inject a poison that causes the blades to turn brown and die. Heavy infestation may completely kill a lawn in several days. These sun and heat loving insects seldom attack shady lawns.

Chinch bugs are most damaging to St. Augustine grass. You may see them on grasses such as Zoysia, Bermuda and Centipede, but infestations usually occur where high populations have built up on St. Augustine grass. Left uncontrolled, Large areas of grass may die.

Chinch bugs are nothing to be ignored. They can leave your lawn devastated and ruin the appearance of your entire landscape. Many times, turf thinning from chinch bugs results not in turf loss, but infiltration of wild grasses and weeds. This can also destroy your lawn’s appearance.

Checking for Chinch Bugs:

  1. Did the damage first appear sometime in July or August? Yes or No. If it appeared earlier, then “No.”
  2. Is the damage restricted to or did it start in the more drought-stressed areas of your lawn? Yes or No. e.g. In sun-exposed areas on slopes, by the curb, border next to the garden beds? If so, then the answer is “yes.”
  3. Did the early damage appear as more or less circular patches or damaged grass that turn yellow and then brown as they die? Yes or No. Chinch bugs like drought-stressed grass. If so then answer “Yes.”
  4. Do the patches appear to be expanding? Yes or No.
  5. Is there more than ½ inch (13mm) of thatch? Yes or No. Excess accumulation of thatch is a natural habitat for chinch bugs.
  6. Does the dead grass pull up easily? Yes or No. If the answers to the above were mostly YES, then chinch bugs could be responsible for the damage.

If you think you have chinch bugs or if you have any other pest control concerns, give us a call at 954-385-2888.