It’s hard to believe that such a small insect like the chinch bug can create so much damage on a lawn in such a short period of time. However, year after year homeowners request that we come out and inspect their lawns, which have turned brown and won’t green back up again. More often than not, this rapid transformation is the result of chinch bug damage.
The secret to chinch bugs’ somewhat sneaky success is that they are so small and often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Combine this with the fact that chinch-damaged turf looks just like drought, which is pretty typical at this time of year, and chinch bugs become one of the biggest threats for Bluegrass (north) and St. Augustine (south) lawns.
Weed Man can help prevent and stop chinch damage for those full program customers that signed up in the spring. Weed Man’s technicians are trained to look for chinch bugs and know how to detect their presence early, before major damage can occur. For those lawn care do-it-yourselfers out there: if you miss diagnosing a chinch bug infestation, you may end up with large areas of thinned out turf that will eventually require extensive repair. This means major money, time and effort.
Here are a few hints on how to make sure you diagnose chinch bugs early enough to prevent significant damage:
- If you have brown spots forming on your lawn, check sun-drenched areas for insects. Chinch bugs are particularly prone to sunny hillsides.
- Be sure to inspect the boundaries of where the brown patches meet the green areas. Damage usually starts off in a small pocket, growing outwards and coalescing with other brown patches.
- Examine the base of the plant in the thatch region or where the turf meets the soil. Chinch bugs tend to feed on the crown of grass plants. You may need a bit of patience when seeking them, as they are quite small.
- Inspect several areas on the lawn for both nymphs and adults. Nymphs are tiny and red, while adults gradually turn black and have a small white cross mark on their backs.
- If all else fails, try Weed Man’s time-tested trick: grab a soup can and cut off both the bottom and top. Place the cylinder on the lawn and pour water into it. Then check to see if any chinch bugs float to the top.
Remember: the best defense against chinch bugs is a healthy lawn. The thicker your lawn, the better able it will be to recover from chinch bugs and other surface feeding insects.
Watch our new chinch bug video HERE.
Keep those lawns healthy,