What’s a Chinch Bug?

Nowadays, avoiding bugs such as the common chinch bug can be quite a difficult task. The chinch bug can be found in a variety of places and are usually tough to get rid of. However, learning exactly what they are and how you can eliminate them will make it easier to completely terminate them from your life. It is advisable that you also take the time to learn exactly how you can also prevent them from coming back once you have gotten rid of them. Chinch bugs in lawn can highly damage the yard’s grass, so it is important that you learn how to get rid of them.
What is a Chinch Bug?
Chinch bugs are frequent pests which appear in home lawns. They often appear at sunny and open areas, and can be come in big numbers from 150-200 insects every square foot. The chinch bug population is simply unnoticed due to their coloration and small size which blends in with thatch and turfgrass. The chinch bug damage can be masked during the periods of drought. A hairy chinch bug that is fully grown can be around 1/6- 1/7 inches long, and they have a gray-black body with highly fine hairs, reddish legs, and white wings. Its outer margin of the forewing has a black, tiny triangular spot. While the wings of adult chinch bugs are folded completely flat over their behinds. Some of the populations of these bugs even have adults with small wings.
The History of Chinch Bugs
Adults over the winter go in leaf litter as well as dense thatch areas so that they can be sheltered. Two generations normally occur every year, while the third generation appears during years long Summers. The adults commonly remain in their winter sites until the spring temperatures have reached 50°F. Afterwards, the adults will begin to disperse, mate with each other, and start to lay eggs. The egg laying can continue throughout their entire adult life. The female adults may produce around 300 eggs in less than 40 days. The eggs they lay are then deposited into leaf sheaths and into the ground near roots of the host plants. All the eggs will then hatch in about 1-2 weeks, and these nymphs will complete in a series of about five molts before they have matured into adults.
Chinch bugs prefer to feed on perennial ryegrass, red fescues, bentgrass, as well as Kentucky bluegrass. The infestations of chinch bugs frequently occur with turfgrass that have thick thatch and are exposed to sunlight during the periods of dry and hot weather. However, the chinch bug damage becomes less noticeable during Spring and the beginning of Summer. Damage will often appear from early July throughout late August once the insects have actively fed themselves already. Chinch bug nymphs as well as the adults cause significant damage from their feeding by removing the plant fluids and also by injecting some sort of toxin which causes grass to turn yellow and reddish brown. Eventually, the chinch bugs will completely kill the grass.
One of the best ways to get rid of the chinch bug infestation is by using professional grade pesticides. They are highly effective when it comes to killing these insects, plus it will even prevent them from coming back. However, if you decide on using this specific insect control for lawns, then it is important that you have thoroughly reviewed the product and checked what it contains to avoid further damage of your grass.

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Date: Tuesday, 18. September 2012 8:35
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2 comments

  1. 1

    is there any way to control these pests through biological means? do they have any natural predators?

  2. 2

    Hi Taylor,

    Chinch bugs have a lot of natural predators ranging from spiders to fungus, but from my research, it is not enough to eradicate an infestation. I apologize, but unfortunately, I am not well versed on how effective biological means of controlling chinch bugs are. You may want to find a local entomologist who will probably be able to better assist you.

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