What are Chinch Bugs?
Chinch Bugs (pronounced sinch or chinch) are small insects which live in and feed on lawn grasses. They live above the soil and feed on living grass plants by means of a piercing mouthpart called a stylet, similar to a mosquito. The insect inserts its stylet into the leaves, stems or crowns and sucks the juices out of the plant. The damage looks quite similar to drought symptoms, so it is common to mistakenly assume that the lawn needs only water to restore its lush green appearance.
Your lawn could look like this in as little as three weeks. Note the weeds flourishing in areas under attack. Chinch bug damage is often mistaken for drought stress.
The Lifecycle of a Chinch Bug
To control an insect population, we must understand its habits and its life cycle. Chinch bugs survive the winter as adults seeking shelter from the cold and snow under shrubs, hedges and leaf litter. In the latter part of the spring, they come out of hiding and venture into the lawn. Here they will mate and the females will seek a hot, dry location in which to lay their eggs—usually a south-facing, sloping hillside.
The adult female will lay approximately 250 eggs in the lawn. In about three weeks, the eggs begin to hatch and the young chinch bugs (nymphs) begin feeding. Two or more generations can mature each season. The eggs are laid close together so that when the eggs hatch and the young begin feeding, small patches of small grass begin to appear. If a homeowner ignores the problem or is unaware of it, the patches get bigger as the insect matures and seeks food further afield. Chinch bugs can totally ruin a lawn in three weeks if no control methods are taken.
Controlling Chinch Bugs
The Weed Man is a trained specialist. He can recognize the difference between a simple drought problem and a serious Chinch Bug infestation. Weed Man uses materials that are applied carefully and precisely at the correct time to be the most effective in controlling this serious lawn pest.
If you see suspicious brown patches starting to appear on the lawn, don't hesitate! Call Weed Man to set up an inspection free of charge! If you do have Chinch Bugs he can protect your investment in your property by promptly treating the problem. If your brown patches are due to lack of water he can advise you on correct watering procedures.