Brown or yellow sunken circular patches appear in the lawn, especially in dry weather. Often mistaken for a lack of water. Watering fails to revive lawn. Hot dry conditions are ideal for chinch bugs. Adults over winter reside in protected areas under trees, bark mulch, flower beds and leaf litter.
Description: Adult is black with white or brown forewings and brown legs. 1/5-1/6 inch long. Malodorous when crushed. Nymph is red with a white strip across back or black with white spots. 1/5-1/4 inch long.
Cause: Adults and nymphs feed on juices of stems and leaves. They prefer sunny, warm areas and frequently weaken or stress grass.
- Photo of an adult- closeup showing the black and white colouring
- Photo of Chinch Bug Nymphs- Are reddish- often have many in a lawn and damage is likely to be seen.
Control: Shade lawn with trees or shrubs. Chinch bugs will almost always feed in the sunny areas of the lawn. Related to this- mow the lawn at a 3 inch mowing height. The increased length of the grass blade shades the lawn and reduces soil temperatures.
Reduce stress by watering. Chinch bugs suck the sap from the lawn.
Plant endophytic (insect resistant) perennial ryegrass.
Apply surface insecticide (where permitted).
Fall is a good time to repair damaged areas by overseeding.
Turf King has alternative organic treatments for chinch bugs
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