Lawn Chinch Bugs

Although tiny (1/4 inch or less), lawn chinch bugs can ruin a lawn in short order. They invade our lawns every summer and are at their worst during dry, hot summers.

Symptoms of Chinch Bugs

Shortwinged Adult
Bigeyed Bug Adult

The bugs become active in the spring, as weather warms up, and become progressively more destructive the drier it gets.

Symptoms of bug infestation include irregular areas of yellow and brown in sunny areas usually adjacent to sidewalks, driveways, curbs, or patios. Yellow and brown spots will also appear on leaf blades and stems.

Diagnosing Infestation

Chinch bugs dont like water. If you lay the end of your water hose near a suspect area and allow the area to flood, the bugs will emerge and be seen crawling around on the grass.

A better way to determine chinch bug infestation is to cut the bottom out of a two pound coffee can (or comparable can), push the bottomless can into the sod slightly, and fill it with water. Bugs will float to the top. You may have to try this in several places.

Cinch bugs may be light brown, dark brown, or black with white specks on their back.

Prevention and Control of Chinch Bugs

Use a granular insecticide that can be applied with a fertilizer spreader, or a liquid that can be sprayed on the lawn. Granular insecticides, such as Diazinon or Kill-a-Bug II, offer a  preventative method of control. Liquid sprays, such as Diazinon, Kill-a-Bug II, or Sevin, will kill the bugs on contact but not control them for long periods of time. Therefore, the use of both methods will give you the best results during heavy infestation.

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