Chinch bugs are a common insect that loves to destroy lawns, but they’ve also been known to eat centipedegrass. They suck on grass blades and then inject poison into the blades using their saliva, which prevents water movement within the blade. The grass blade becomes yellow and dies as a result of this. The chinch bug then migrates to another grass blade nearby. They spread outward over time, leaving a ring of big, dead patches in your lawn.
Signs of a Chinch Bug Infestation
Although you can see chinch bugs in your lawn, they are tough to identify due to their small size. The first indicators of an infestation are frequently sporadic. Chinch bugs, however, will swiftly and decisively destroy enormous swaths of grass if given enough time to thrive. Bring a magnifying glass with you if you want to look for chinch bugs while you spread the turf toward the soil with your hand.
Chinch bugs are not dangerous to people, so don’t be concerned about being bitten. It may be easier to find chinch bugs if you look towards the extremities of your lawn, where you can see some of the soil and where the grass is growing.
It is crucial to remember that chinch bug infestations are frequently confused with water shortages. As previously stated, chinch bugs inject a poison that prevents all water circulation within the grass blades. If your grass does not green up after watering it, or if you have been watering it on a regular basis, you can rule out a drought.
A drought problem would most likely produce constant damage to your grass, whereas a chinch bug infestation would produce different regions of harm to your lawn. Early indicators of chinch bug infestation include yellowing grass that is dying. It will turn brown after it is dead.
Chinch Bug Prevention and Treatment
There are a variety of chinch bug control methods you can take, some of which are costly while others are not. Among these methods are:
1. Additional Watering
Because chinch bugs prefer hot, dry conditions for optimal feeding, it is beneficial to irrigate your lawn during hot, dry weather. One inch of rain or irrigation each week is adequate.
2. Use Chinch Bug Resistant Turfgrass
Chinch bugs are not a problem for perennial ryegrass, fine fescues, or tall fescues. Perennial ryegrass, fine fescues, and tall fescues, on the other hand, do not thrive in the south because they were bred for northern temperatures.
Even if chinch bugs harm your lawn above the soil’s surface, the grass will survive and develop. All you need to do is buy a pesticide to get rid of chinch bugs and keep them away in the future.
3. Remove Thatch
During the winter, chinch bugs go into hibernation and occupy the soil’s surface. Remove thatch from the top layer of your lawn with a rake to disrupt hibernation sites or areas where eggs and nymphs may reside.
When it comes to treating chinch bugs on your own, liquid pesticides are your best bet. The optimal time to start therapy is in late summer. First, remove thatch to allow the product to reach the roots, then attentively study the product label. Many pesticides necessitate thorough watering after application, but each pesticide is unique, so be careful to follow the recommendations provided.