If you are a Southerner, nothing causes you quite as much pleasure as a barefoot walk across your beautiful, soft, green St. Augustine lawn. Chinch Bugs are a huge nuisance and can cause brown dead spots with veritable ease. In this article, we discuss the Chinch Bug identification and control methods.
Chinch Bug identification is important. First of all, if you notice irregular patches of dead or stunted grass, surrounded by a halo of yellow, you may have a Chinch Bug problem. Although, a Chinch Bug issue can easily be confused with certain types of diseases, usually, brown patch disease will occur in a circular or semi circular fashion, while the Chinch Bug destruction will be irregular. An easy way to identify that it is a Chinch Bug issue is to witness the little buggers yourself.
One way to locate the Chinch Bug is to simply part the grass with your hands and see what you see. It is imperative to not mistake the Big Eyed Bug with the Chinch Bug. The Big Eyed Bug is a beneficial pest and will eat off many detrimental pests from your lawn. To distinguish the two, the Chinch Bug has a more narrow body in relation to its head. The Big Eyed Bug will have larger protruding eyes and the head is at least as wide as the leg bearing portion of its body(the thorax). The Chinch Bugs head is much more harrow than it’s thorax, the eyes are small in proportion, and the Chinch Bug will have a distinctive white wing with black triangular marks.
Another good method is to cut the bottom and top from a coffee can and simply push it into the ground with a twisting motion, creating a sample. Then fill the can with water, and wait about ten minutes. If Chinch Bugs are present, they will float to the surface. This is called the flotation method. Be sure that you do not test in dead grass, only damaged.
If you isolate that Chinch Bugs are your problem, and they are causing substantial damage to your lawn, you may need to take chemical action to end your Chinch Bug problem. There are a variety of liquid or granular insecticides that will control chinch bugs. The granular type should be applied with a standard fertilizer spreader, and then watered lightly to initiate the insecticide component. Be sure that you do not spread the insecticide onto sidewalks or walkways where it can be washed in to water ways.
Sweep up any excess that has found it’s way to these surfaces.
Using a liquid spray is easiest by applying a hose end sprayer that can distribute 15-20 gallons per 1,000 square feet.