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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Stoddard

What are Chinch Bugs?

Life cycle and identification chart for chinch bugs

Chinch Bugs

Summer is here, and pests are more likely to bring in their bags to share your living space with you. However, the thought of chinch bugs might cause an unexpected reaction in most lawn owners this season – especially those whose lawns are beautified with the St. Augustine grass. So while you’re trying to get flies and cockroaches out of your kitchen, don’t forget to eliminate chinch bugs from your lawn!

Fortunately, this piece contains essential must-knows about chinch bugs, so you don’t leave them out during pest control.

What Are They?

There are 99% chances you could confuse a chinch bug infestation in your lawn for drought stress. These bugs are very tiny and damage the grass in your yard the same way drought does.

Adult chinch bugs are about ¼ inches long and are usually black with white ‘X’-like colorations on their backs. On the other hand, young chinch bugs are generally smaller and red.

The University of Florida reports that chinch bugs are winged insects, but are more likely to move from place to place by walking. In one hour, chinch bugs can cover more than 400-feet distance whenever they choose to migrate. And they can easily migrate from a severely infested lawn to surrounding lawns within the 400-feet distance.

To check for a chinch bug infestation, carefully examine the grasses in your lawn. Chinch bugs are more likely to infest yards with St. Augustine grass, especially in hot, parched areas. Hence, those beautiful, healthy St. Augustine grasses along your driveway and sidewalk, are about the most habitable locations for chinch bugs.

In most states in the U.S., chinch bugs are usually active in hotter months like April to October. But in Florida, they can be found throughout the year in their various stages of life. Interestingly, mature chinch bugs may even be found hibernating through the winter.

Why Should You Get Rid of Chinch Bugs?

You may wonder why you need to get rid of chinch bugs since all they do is create their niche in your lawn. Well, they do not just ‘live’ in your yard; they damage your lawn. Chinch bugs sap the beauty out of your well-groomed lawn by taking the lively saps from the leaves of your St. Augustine grass and injecting toxins into them. These toxins kill the leaves and cause your St. Augustine grass to wither. Consequently, you’ll find yourself spending money to revive your lawn afterward.

How to Identify a Chinch Bug Infestation

One way to spot a chinch bug infestation is to examine your St. Augustine grass lawn. The infested area is usually dried with withered grasses. It would look much like drought stress, but with yellowing of the outer margins of grass, and subsequently, all you’ll have would be dead turf. You’ll discover that weed may begin to grow on irregular portions of your lawn where there were once healthy, beautiful St. Augustine grasses.

Getting Rid of Chinch Bugs

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Professional pest control is the ideal way to get rid of chinch bugs. If you suspect a chinch bug infestation in your lawn, get professional help immediately by a professional lawn spray company such as Imperial Pest Prevention.

Preventing an Infestation

First of all, keeping your St. Augustine grass lawn well-nourished and healthy is the first and most crucial step in preventing a chinch bug infestation. Secondly, if you suspect an infestation around your neighborhood, get pest control experts to keep those pests away from your lawn.



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