If you have beautiful and healthy St. Augustinegrass and hear the name "Chinch Bug", you could panic. Now that summer has come, it's easy to forget that household pests aren't the only ones looking for food and shelter. Lawn insects are also looking for the same. You may be wondering – what are chinch bugs? What can you do with my lawn? We are here to tell you!

What are chinch bugs?

Chinch bugs are tiny, hard-to-spot insects that cause lawn damage that can often be mistaken for drought stress.

When chinch bugs are young they have a red color, but when they grow up they turn black and have a white spot on their back in the shape of an "X". Adults become about a quarter of an inch long.

Chinch bugs can fly, according to the University of Florida, but only a small fraction of the population seems to use the flight as a means of travel. Most of the time, chinch bugs move from lawn to lawn within a neighborhood, moving from a heavily infested area to a fresh area to feed. Interesting fact: during the move, chinch bugs can cover over 400 feet in less than an hour.

With St. Augustinegrass, these insects can be found almost anywhere in a meadow. However, they are usually found in hot, dry places, e.g. B. on sidewalks or driveways. You can often see them by examining the grass near the surface of the ground.

Adult chinch bugs sometimes hibernate in winter. Chinch bugs in all phases of life are present all year round in most Florida states due to the warm climate. In most states, chinch bugs are active from April to October.

Figure 1: The life cycle of the chinch bug from egg to adult.

Why are chinch bugs a problem?

Believe it or not, these tiny lawn pests cause millions of dollars in damage annually as homeowners try to control outbreaks by applying treatments and replacing damaged grass. These pests suck the juices from the blades of grass and inject toxins back into the blade, causing the grass to die.

What does chinch bug damage look like?

As you can see below, symptoms appear as irregular lawns that resemble drought stress. These areas gradually turn yellow, then brown, and then the grass dies. The dead grass has a yellow color on the outer edge and the growth of the yellow grass is slowed down. Weeds fill the dead areas.

Chinch bug

How do I get rid of chinch bugs?

Once you have a chinch bug problem, it can be difficult for homeowners to get rid of. It is recommended that you contact a professional to apply active infestation treatments. If you are unsure whether you have a chinch bug problem, it is best to contact a professional.

How can I prevent chinch bugs?

There are things you can do to prevent chinch bugs from attacking your St. Augustinegrass.

It's no surprise that proper care for your lawn, through care and adequate health care (including nutrition, weed and disease control) can help prevent Chinch Bug damage. Ultimately, working with a professional to help prevent this may be the best way to do it, especially if you're suspected of chinch bug activity in your lawn.

A professional can ensure that your lawn is properly fertilized and watered to significantly reduce the likelihood of these invasive pests.

If you need a lawn or irrigation specialist to fix or prevent chinch bugs in your St. Augustinegrass, fill out the form below!

Our professionally trained experts know exactly what to do to prevent and eliminate chinch bugs.

More information about the lawn Maintenance and healthcare, please contact Massey Services or fill out the form below!