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Chinch Bugs: They’ll Take Over Your Lawn If You Let Them

What Are Chinch Bugs?

Chinch bugs are small insects which live in the thatch layer of your grass. They are black with white patches on their wings that can resemble an “X” on their back and they grow to about 1/5” long.

Adult chinch bugs will hibernate in the winter. They lay their eggs in leaf sheaths or they push them into soft soil and other protected areas. Females can lay up to 300 eggs under optimal conditions. These eggs hatch in 10 days and the nymphs become adults quickly, in about three weeks.

This means your lawn could suffer the damage of 2 to 3 generations in one warm season, if you live in New York and New Jersey.

What Does Chinch Bug Damage Look Like?

Chinch bugs suck the juice from grass blades and inject toxins back into the leaf blade. The toxins then turn the grass yellow then brown.

You’ll start to see irregular patches of lawn that look like drought stress. It only takes 20 chinch bugs per square foot to cause damage, so make sure you call a professional ASAP.

How Do You Differentiate Chinch Damage from Drought Stress?

Even seasoned lawn care experts make the mistake of assuming dry grass is because the lawn needs watering and not because of the presence of chinch bugs.

The only way to determine chinch bug presence is to get on our hands and knees and look for these little critters. You can do this, or call a professional. This simple action ensures you’re not wasting your time watering instead of combating this tiny insect.

Do Chinch Bugs Bite?

Yes. They may bite your loved ones and your pets. Although, they will not cause any major health problems, the bites are itchy and uncomfortable.

Oh No! I Have Chinch Bugs!

Although this may not be the best thing, at least you’ve identified the problem and can now address it. We advise calling a lawn care professional. Working with herbicides can be a bit tricky and you definitely don’t want to apply anything that can hurt your property, your pets or family.

If you have any questions on how to proceed, give us a call at (201) 891-4131 or (845) 986-8836. Our Lawn A Mat Techs can answer your questions accurately and make sure you make the right decision.

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