Chinch bugs attack only one type of lawn: St. Augustine grass, which is among the most common types of grass in the South. These pests cause most damage in the Gulf Coast region and in the southern half of Texas.
Some years, controlling Chinch bugs is an all-year long event. Other years you will see Chinch bug activity roughly between March and November when the “sunny” season is in full swing. The common Chinch bug, Blissus leucopterus, is closely-related to grain crop pests throughout Texas and throughout the Midwest.
Chinch bugs are small critters, who only grow up to about 1/5″ in length, with oval shaped bodies, wings, and piercing mouthparts that are perfect for chomping on the blades of grass in your lawn.
What Causes Chinch Bugs?
Certain factors contribute to Chinch bug damage on your lawn. They include:
- The wrong type of grass for Texas.
- Improper mowing (mowing too short, or with a dull blade)
- Using too much nitrogen fertilizer, which causes excessive growth.
- Use of lawn pesticides against other pests, which can kill off natural predators of Chinch bugs (e.g., ants, Fire ants, spiders, earwigs, beetles, wasps)
- Temporary springtime Chinch bug populations spike before the emergence of their natural predators.
- Poor soil, excessive heat, and excessive rain.
- Lawn’s old age, neglect, or excessive weeds.
- Thatch Buildup
How Do I Know if My Lawn is Damaged by Chinch Bugs?
- Do you really have Chinch bugs on your lawn? It is important to closely examine to make sure you know what you’re dealing with. Dog urine, Brown Patch, drought, and other things can also cause discolored areas on your grass.
- In earlier stages of Chinch bug damage, your grass will start to turn yellow. Later, your grass will dry out, turn brown, and die. As your grass dies, Chinch bugs will start moving to the outer perimeter of the dead grass, and continuing their damage. The dead patches of grass will get larger as they spread outward.
How Long Do Chinch Bugs Last?
The Chinch bug life cycle is around 7 to 8 weeks long. Up to five generations of Chinch bugs can emerge throughout an entire year, especially in hotter regions of the country like Texas.
How to Get Rid of Chinch Bugs
You can treat your lawn with an insecticide labeled for Chinch bugs. Keep in mind that they mature quickly, so it’s important to treat with insecticide as quickly as possible.
- Remove as much thatch and overgrowth from your lawn as you can to expose the turf, and so that the insecticide will actually reach the Chinch bugs.
- Apply the insecticide across your entire lawn. If using a liquid, spray in slow, wide motions all over your lawn while walking backwards, starting from the edges of your lawn and working your way in.
- If using a granular insecticide, cover your entire lawn.
Professional Services Can Save You Time, Money, and Stress
You don’t have to put in tons of time and effort to keep your New Caney lawn looking healthy and green. There is quite a bit you can do yourself for your lawn, but you may want to consider hiring professional lawncare and pest control services. Contact our New Caney, TX pest control experts today! We can help you get your grass green, pest-free, and lush in no time!