Chinch bugs are probably the toughest pest to control in St. Augustine lawns. Chinch bugs feed on the sap of the St. Augustine grass and have piercing sucking mouthparts. Many people do not know but the chinch bug is not the actual killer, it is the saliva of the insect that kills the plant, it clogs the vascular tissue of the plant not allowing the flow of water and nutrients to the plant.

Chinch bugs are found in the thatch layer of the grass. They are about 1/8 to 1/5 of an inch long or smaller. The adults have distinct white strips that cross their back and the young or nymphs are an orange-red color with a white strip across their abdomen. Chinch bugs will over winter in shrub beds or down in the soil area and when the weather warms up they come out.

Chinch bug damage is often mistaken for drought stress until it is too late. When looking for chinch bugs do not look in the grass that is already dead, look toward the margins of the dead area in grass that is alive. Spread the grass apart and look for the insects that are black and have white strips across their back or the young. An easier way of to detect a chinch bug infestation is to take a coffee can and remove both end, soften the soil with a little bit of water so you can stick the coffee can into the earth about 2-3 inches leaving at least 4 inches of the coffee can above ground. Fill the coffee can up with water and wait, the chinch bugs will float to the top.
If a chinch bug infestation is present report this to your spray company so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Chinch bug damage that is noticed early can be treated typically with little damage to the grass; a good fertilization should revive the grass and fill the area back in with time. Keep in mind even after the chinch bugs have been treated and are dead it is quite possible that the area damaged will grow in size. This is because the area treated was already damaged and the results of the damage were not visible at the time of treatment.

Chinch bugs have developed a resistance to every major chemical class known. It is extremely important when treating these pests that the chemical classes have been rotated at each application for better control. This will aid in the resistance problems we see in the field.
Posted in:Chinch bugs and tagged: Chinch bugs
Posted by ERA Big Sun Realty on June 11th, 2018 10:44 AM



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