Chinch bugs are insects that feed by sucking the sap from the crown and stems of turf grasses. The adult is black with a white spot on their back between their wing pads and measures about 2 mm long. As for the immature chinch bug (the nymph), it is bright red with distinctive white bands across its back. A severe infestation of these insects can go as far as destroying an entire lawn, so it is important to recognize them.

Chinch bug and lawn damages

Around midsummer, during hot weather, the chinch bugs will start wreaking your lawn. The damage shows up as irregular yellow patches in open, sunny areas. Be vigilant as they can easily be mistaken for drought damages. If rain and watering do not improve the appearance of your lawn and the yellow patches of grass grow larger during the summer, you are probably facing an infestation that could destroy your lawn.
Chinch Bug and Lawn Damages
Chinch Bug and Lawn Damages

How do i know if i have a chinch bug problem?

  • Walk on your lawn and see if it smells bad—chinch bugs give off an offensive odour when crushed.
  • Spread the grass at the edge of damaged patches of lawn where it is still green and check for red nymphs or black adult chinch bugs on the soil surface.
  • If you are not sure if the insects you see are chinch bugs, call a Nutrite Expert and he will verify it for you.

How do i get rid of chinch bugs in my lawn?

  1. Make sure you have identified the right pest: The key to a successful pest control treatment is to identify the insect you are dealing with. This also avoids killing other insects that are good for your lawn.
  2. Apply a pest control product: Once you know you are dealing with chinch bugs, quickly call a Nutrite Expert and have them apply a pesticide.
  3. Repair visible damage: Because lawn bugs like patchy lawns, put back soil and overseed to repair damaged patches and make the rest of the lawn thicker.

How to prevent chinch bug infestations

Chinch bugs like full sun lawns with compacted soils, accumulations of thatch, and a lack of moisture. Thus, by adopting good lawn care practices, you will discourage infestations and improve tolerance to damage. Some helpful practices include the following:

  • In the spring, aerate the lawn to reduce soil compaction.
  • Set the mower height to 7.5 cm (3 inches).
  • Where regulations allow, water the lawn thoroughly, but not more than once a week.
  • Overseed to thicken the lawn.
  • Fertilize to strengthen the lawn.
  • Remove thick layers of thatch.

For more information and advice on how to detect and control chinch bugs, contact your Nutrite Expert!

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