Are there Chinch bugs in your lawn?

You’re probably aware that certain insects can harm your grass if they choose to make your lawn their home. One insect that is capable of damaging your turf is the Chinch bug, which is fairly common across Eastern Canada. If you’re experiencing lifeless grass patches, your turf could be infested with Chinch bugs. Not to worry, getting rid of Chinch bugs can be easy if you get ahead of it. Read on to learn how you can detect and eliminate Chinch bugs and stop them from destroying your lawn.  

 

What are Chinch Bugs?

Chinch bugs are tiny black winged insects that have a patch of white on their backs in between their wings. When Chinch bugs are immature (nymph) they have a bright red band across their back, but as the Chinch bug matures it begins to change colours. During the spring time, Chinch bugs lay their eggs in the grass and are fully grown by mid-July. They’re found during the summer months in areas of the lawn that have optimal sunlight because they thrive in dry, hot weather.

 

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How do they Damage Lawns?

Chinch bugs destroy your lawn by sucking the sap from the grass stems, leaving your grass looking dry and dead in spots where they’ve been feeding. These spots usually appear in areas where the sun hits the most and homeowners will tend to mistaken these dry dead areas for symptoms of drought. If an infestation is left untreated, the chinch bugs can destroy your entire lawn.  

 

Are they Destroying my Lawn?

One way to tell if Chinch bugs are damaging your lawn is to check the soil surface by getting down to eye level and spreading the grass. Another easy method for detecting Chinch bugs is to cut the bottom of a coffee can and force it partially into the ground. Fill the can with water, and wait to see if any Chinch bugs float to the top. Try various sections of your lawn with either method. If you find five or more Chinch bugs per section, you should consider treating your lawn. If you have over 10, you have an infestation that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

 
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How do I Eliminate them?

Like any other unwanted pest or weeds, Chinch bugs thrive in a poorly maintained lawn, so the best defense is a healthy thick turf. Chinch bugs love dry heat, so the key to eliminating them is by water your lawn often. Keeping the soil moist will drown out the bugs and make them move on to a dryer turf.

 

The best defense against Chinch bugs is to maintain healthy and thriving grass, so give us a call today at 1.888.791.8873 to protect your lawn against Chinch bugs and other unwanted pests. If Chinch bugs are not the culprits to your lawn damage, visit our FAQ page to learn about other turf damaging insects or read our blog post on Grub Control Techniques.