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Chinch Bugs

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What are Chinch Bugs?

Chinch bugs (pronounced sinch or chinch) are small insects, which live in and feed on lawn grasses. In North Texas, they feed mostly on St. Augustine lawns. Many homeowners in North Texas assume their Bermuda lawn has chinch bugs in the July/August time frame due to the yellow patches in the lawn. If you have a Bermuda lawn with yellow patches in July/August, refer to the Yellow Patch Resource article to resolve your issue.



Chinch bugs live above the soil and feed on living grass plants by means of a piercing mouth part 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 and many Weed Man North DFW customers mistakenly assume that the lawn needs only water to restore its lush green appearance.


Life Cycle

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 under shrubs, hedges and leaf litter. In the latter part of the spring (May-June), they come out of hiding and venture out 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). Chinch bugs prefer hot, dry locations.

The adult female will lay approximately 250 eggs in the lawn. In about 3 weeks' time 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 very close together so that when the eggs hatch and the young begin feeding, small patches of brown 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 a field. Chinch bugs can totally ruin a lawn in 3 weeks if no control methods are taken.


Control

The Weed Man of North DFW is a trained specialist. He can recognize the difference between a simple drought problem and a serious chinch bug infestation. Weed Man North DFW uses materials that are applied carefully and precisely at the correct time to be the most effective in controlling this serious lawn pest.

But Weed Man needs YOUR HELP! If you see suspicious brown patches starting to appear on the lawn, DON'T HESITATE. Call us and we will inspect your property FREE OF CHARGE! If you do have chinch bugs, we can protect your investment in your property by promptly treating the problem. If your brown patches are due to lack of water we can advise you on correct watering procedures.