Let’s learn more about chinch bugs, how to know you have them and how to get rid of them if they are in your yard.
Chinch bugs attack a variety of forage, lawn, and wild grasses. The principal crop plants damaged are wheat, corn, sorghum, oats, etc. Hairy chinch bugs prefer feeding on red fescues, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. Chinch bug infestations frequently occur in turfgrass with thick thatch that is exposed to full sunlight during periods of hot, dry weather.
Since it only takes two weeks for chinch bug eggs to hatch, it can be hard to get rid of these pests on your own before the next generation of chinch bugs are born and cause more damage to your yard. Chinch bugs are inactive during the winter months, as they prefer warmer, dry climates. This means that in warmer parts of the country, they can be active most months of the year.
Southern chinch bugs are attracted to dry conditions, so it’s important to maintain a regular watering schedule. Ensure grass doesn’t receive too much or too little moisture. You’ll want to keep lawn thatch to a minimum with regular mowing, aeration and top-dressing. If you’ve caught a small patch of chinch bug damage, apply an insecticide with spot treatments to prevent any further damage. The southern chinch bug is a damaging pest of St. Augustine grass and other warm-season grasses in Florida and elsewhere.
If the float test reveals an infestation, you’ll want to take care of the problem right away before small patches turn into an entire yellow lawn of dead grass. Call in a lawn care professional or treat the area with an herbicide. If you choose to treat the infestation yourself, make sure to read the label carefully before using it.
Chinch bugs Bites
Chinch bugs use their piercing mouthparts to suck the sap out of grass blades and inject a substance into plants that interrupt water movement in the plant structure, causing it to die. When feeding, chinch bugs suck the juices out of your grass and inject the blades with their toxic saliva to inhibit the flow of water, causing grass to die.
Chinch bugs Identification
A Chinch bug is a small insect that can cause a lot of damage to your lawn. Chinch bugs belong to the “true bug” category, and have the piercing, sucking mouthparts that cause damage to your grass, causing your lawn to brown and die. It’s important to be able to identify chinch bugs so you can control them quickly and effectively. Chinch bugs have different stages of growth with slightly different appearances at each stage. Adult chinch bugs are oval shaped, with black and white wings with a triangle on the wings. Even at their most developed phase, they’re very small, only about 1/5 of an inch long. Legs have a slight orange-brown color.
Chinch bugs Removal
Less use of nitrogen fertilizers and water combined with de-thatching will make your lawn less attractive to chinch bugs. Once an infestation has been identified a long-lasting insecticide such as Tandem should be used to prevent chinch bugs from spreading. Adding a surfactant will increase the efficacy of the Tandem. Chinch bugs have become resistant to almost every pesticide used to control them. They were even resistant to the DDT in the early 1950s.
Of the many insecticides labeled for chinch bug elimination, there are two that stand out above the rest. Talstar which contains Bifenthrin and other is Acephate. For the past several years, Acephate had been the best overall performer in eliminating chinch bugs in lawns, giving better control than other products being used by professionals and homeowners alike. However, Talstar has suddenly become the star performer in eliminating lawn and turf pests such as mole crickets, ants, and chinch bugs.
Chinch bugs Damage repair
Chinch bug damage is often less noticeable during the spring and early summer. Damage frequently appears from early July through late August when the insects are actively feeding. Chinch bug nymphs and adults cause significant feeding damage by removing plant fluids and by injecting a toxin that causes the grass to yellow, turn reddish brown, and eventually die. Chinch bug damaged areas often coalesce into large patches of dead, brown grass. The suggested economic threshold for chinch bug is 15 to 20 insects per square foot.
Chinch bugs Traps
The chinch bug trap consists of an empty metal food can with the bottom removed. To test for chinch bug presence, the can is inserted into the soil on the perimeter of damaged turf, where active feeding is anticipated. A knife may be used to cut a groove in the soil for the can. Adding water for several minutes will cause any chinch bugs to float to the surface where they can be easily observed and counted. This method should be repeated in several locations to ensure proper diagnosis. Since they are small and hard to see, they may be trapped using the floatation method.