Insect activity can always be a challenge to keeping your lawn lush and green, but in the last two years we have been surprised by the rise we’ve seen in chinch bug activity on home lawns. As seen above, chinch bugs are an extremely small, winged insect and will be found on the surface of the soil or thatch, typically in sunny areas of the lawn. They will feed on the turf by sucking the nutrients out of the grass blades and simultaneously injecting a toxin, killing the turf. We were prepared in 2021 due to the increase we saw in 2020, and we will be even more prepared in 2022! Chinch bug damage can happen quickly, though, so it’s important to know the warning signs and how to look for them!
Chinch bugs commonly cause damage in lawns early summer through early fall, so it is difficult to differentiate between chinch bug and drought damage. If your lawn still has some brown or dead areas that haven’t responded to recent rain or watering and seem to be spreading, then it’s time to get out and do some investigating! The “paper test” should always be your first step. Bring a white piece of paper with you and look closely at the edges of the brown/dead area. While you may be able to pull the grass apart and see some chinch bugs running away, they’re very small and pretty fast! A better gauge is to pull out a section of turf right on the edge of the brown and green and shake it out over a white piece of paper.
Check out this video of our Operations Manager Josh demonstrating how to do the paper test to find chinch bugs:
Chinch bugs can destroy a lawn in just a few days. If you find them in your lawn, it’s important to put down an insecticide as soon as possible. We are happy to provide that, so call us right away and we will get you on the route! You will need to water the lawn for an hour as soon as possible, to activate the application.