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Top 3 Signs Your Yard Has Chinch Bugs

Posted by Nate Bahler on Oct 5, 2021 2:58:56 PM
Nate Bahler

Chinch Bugs are a surface insect that thrive in dry weather. These small bugs can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time due to their high reproductive rate. Female Chinch Bugs will lay about 200 eggs!

They live in the thatch layer of a lawn. They feed on the crown of a grass plant - right where your grass meets the soil.  When they feed on grass, they release enzymes that continue to damage the plant even after they are done feasting. These bugs are tiny but can do a lot of damage! 

Since Chinch Bugs thrive in dry weather, a Chinch Bug problem can present early as drought damage. If it rains and you water lawn and this does not help, you could potentially have a Chinch Bug problem.   

What’s the simplest way to tell? Part a section of grass - you will see small silver insects crawling around.

What are signs of chinch bugs in my lawn?

  • Patches of brown, dead grass. 
  • Small, silver bugs in grass at soil level. 
  • Signs of drought damage when we aren't in drought conditions.

The chinch bug float test:

  1. Cut bottom off of a coffee can. 
  2. Sink bottomless can about 3 inches into soil. 
  3. Fill the can with water for several minutes. 
  4. Chinch Bugs trapped in soil will slowly float to top. 

How to treat for chinch bugs:

  • Plant a resistant turf grass.
  • Pest Control (surface insect control) Bifenthrin. 
  • Slight damage can recover with water and fertilizer. Heavily damaged lawns might need to be reseeded. 
  • Mow grass long - they are less likely to damage grass with a healthy root system.
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