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Tuesday, 25 January 2022
How to get rid of chinch bugs in my lawn?

How to get rid of chinch bugs in my lawn?

If you love gardening and plants, you must take good care of the lawn. It turns out that giving your plants watered and trimming the grass is not enough to keep your lawn healthy, you also need to protect it from crawling invaders. Webworms, cutworms, bill bugs, and chinch bugs can ruin your lawn despite all the hard work you have put into it. They will make your lawn look unappealing and unhealthy.

If you have a chinch bug infestation, you have come to the right place. Chinch bugs are pretty common and are notorious for destroying yards. Below, we have compiled a list of tips on how to get rid of chinch bugs in your lawn.

What are chinch bugs?

Chinch bugs are tiny insects that are very hard to see. They are related to bed bugs, cicadas, leafhoppers, and shield bugs. They can become a problem for people with lawns due to their tendency to gather on open patches of turf grass. They can hide anywhere due to their small size.

The damage they cause to your lawn can often be confused with drought stress. That’s why it’s necessary to ensure that you are not dealing with a chinch bug infestation when you see damage to the grass in your lawn. Even though chinch bugs can fly, they prefer to travel on foot.

After destroying one lawn, they move to a new area for feeding. They are surprisingly fast and can cover 400 feet in just under an hour. Chinch bugs are typically found in hot, dry locations on your lawn and love to hide in sidewalks and driveways.


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What do chinch bugs look like?

When chinch bugs are young, they are red. When they become adults, they acquire a black color with white spots on their backs. They can grow to a quarter of an inch in size. Their shape is similar to other unpleasant bugs that can be found in your homes, such as bed bugs and shield bugs.

What do chinch bugs feed on?

Chinch bugs are considered a significant problem for lawns as they feed on turf grass and grain crops. They feed themselves by sucking the plant sap from the stems and crowns of turf grasses. Though they prefer eating bent grass, they can go for any variety of grass on your lawn, such as bluegrass and red fescue.


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What causes chinch bugs in lawns?

Here are factors that attract chinch bugs in lawns:

  1. Plant stress
  2. Overuse of pesticides
  3. Thatch buildup

1. Plant Stress

Plant stress is one of the biggest reasons for a chinch bug infestation. Turf grass, when stressed, can be more vulnerable to chinch bugs than healthy turf grass. Chinch bugs prefer stressed plants as they don't have much energy to resist compared to healthy ones. Stressed plants also produce glutathione, a substance that attracts and benefits chinch bugs in reproduction.

Here are reasons for turf grass stress:

  • Improper mowing
  • Overuse of fertilizers
  • Temporary springs in your lawn
  • Poor soil
  • Drought
  • Excessive rain

2. Overuse of Pesticides

Typically, pesticides are effective at controlling the pest population. However, the overuse of pesticides can do more harm than good. Usually, chinch bugs are killed by predator insects and birds. However, the overuse of pesticides kills these beneficial bugs as well. This allows the pesticide-resistant chinch bug populations to rebound. This gives the opportunistic chinch bugs plenty of time and resources to recover their numbers.

3. Thatch buildup

Thatch refers to a layer of dead plants, roots, leaves, and other debris that gradually accumulates on the soil of your lawn. Thatch buildup blocks the normal decomposition of leaves on the soil and impedes access to air and water. This becomes an ideal breeding condition for chinch bugs and other kinds of pests on your lawn. You should always remove thatch with a rake to keep your lawn tidy and prevent the infestation of pests.


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How do chinch bugs damage grass?

Chinch bugs cause significant damage to your lawn by cutting down the grass blades with their mouths. They then suck out the plant juices and dry out the grass blade. Chinch bugs also release toxins during the feeding process, which kills the remaining grass. This makes the lawn look dreadful.

What time of year do chinch bugs damage lawns?

Chinch bugs prefer to damage your lawn in the spring season. They become very active in the early spring and begin the feeding process. When the weather is warm during late June–September, they are the most destructive.


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How do I identify a chinch bug infestation?

When you have a chinch bug infestation, irregular patches of turf grass will start appearing in your yard that resembles drought stress. These irregular patches of turf grass first turn yellow, then brown, and then the turf grass withers away. You should be alerted when you see this kind of damage happening in your lawn because chinch bugs could cause this.

If you have problems identifying the symptoms of chinch bug infestation in your lawn, you can contact a professional to thoroughly inspect your lawn and determine whether you have a chinch bug infestation or not.

Tips to get rid of chinch bugs in your lawn

Prevention is better than cure. Here are 3 tips to get rid of chinch bugs in your lawn:

  1. Use dish soap to kill chinch bugs
  2. Insecticides, bug killers, and Triazicide
  3. Hire a professional

1. Use dish soap to kill chinch bugs

Using dish soap as an insecticide is a great way to kill chinch bugs in your lawn. The reason why we recommend this method is because insecticides are harmful to pets and children. 

To use the dish soap method, you need to follow the following steps:

  • Get a cup of water, one tablespoon of dish soap, and one tablespoon of vegetable oil. You can also add baking soda for extra strength.
  • Get a large bowl.
  • Gently mix all the materials. Remember not to stir the solution as it will make the solution bubbly and harder to spray. 
  • Put the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Spray this DIY dish soap mixture across all the infested areas in your lawn.

When using this dish soap mixture, keep in mind not to spray it directly on your plants as it can be harmful to some. Spray on the areas that are infested and avoid sensitive plants.

2. Pesticides

When you are using pesticides to kill chinch bugs and other pests on your lawn, you should take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your pets and children. Seal off your lawn completely, so children and pets don't go there. Instruct everyone else in your home not to go to the lawn as well.

3. Hire a professional

If you don't know how to use pesticides safely, you should hire a professional to do the job. A professional landscaper can thoroughly inspect your lawn and recommend the best methods of extermination. Hiring a professional lawn care team with proven experience can guarantee that you completely remove all the pests from your lawn. EagleYard guarantees the best price?services?product ratio!

How long does it take to get rid of chinch bugs?

This depends on how bad the chinch bug infestation is. If you are doing everything correctly and consistently with patience, you can recover your lawn within a month or just two weeks. If the infestation is mild, your lawn will be fine in one week. If the bug infestation is severe, you can expect a month or more than that. 


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