We know you’ve heard of them. Hopefully you’re treating for them.
(If you’re a customer of ours, don’t worry, you’re protected!)
Chinch bugs are a threat to St. Augustine lawns especially during hot, dry weather. These pests cause damage by piercing the grass runners with their mouth parts, sucking sap, dehydrating your turf and, as if that isn’t enough, injecting a poison. Chinch bugs can and will destroy your whole lawn if allowed to multiply. In addition, when a lawn is weakened by chinch bugs, it becomes a good candidate for fungus and weed problems.
Beware: these bugs don’t exactly tap you on the shoulder and introduce themselves. If you’re worried you might have chinch bugs, please continue reading.
Signs of Damage
Signs of damage are first seen in sunny dry areas and around the edges of the lawn. Yellowing blades are quickly followed by spreading patches of dead grass. Dry patches can often be mistaken for chinch bug damage and vice versa.
The “floating” method is the best way to determine what is causing the damage. Place a bottomless can into the ground in an affected area. Pour water into the can keeping it filled for 10 minutes. If you have chinch bugs, they will start floating to the surface. If you’ve checked for chinch bugs and have them or are not sure, call a professional.
Prevention & Treatment
Watering deeply, once per week is a good way to prevent damage from showing. Chemical applications are the only way to prevent or eliminate a chinch bug problem. If there is already an infestation, 2 treatments, 3 weeks apart will be necessary to eliminate the problem. Keep in mind, these bugs move. Regular insecticide treatments are always the best protection against these devastating pests.
“I wanted you to know that the second application of chinch bug spray did the trick for my grass! It looks great now! My neighbor is wondering what I did to make it looks so great! I TOLD HIM!!!”
~M.Z., North Port