Here in the Florida summer, chinch bug infestations are a commonly occurring problem. These insects tear through our lush turf grasses and leave them a patchy, brown mess. If you are a long-term Florida resident, you surely know that these pests are no fun to deal with.
Since these bugs are so good at hiding, it can be hard to tell if you’re hosting them on your property until they’ve already worsened the condition of your lawn significantly. So, what can we do to prevent chinch bugs in our yards? Read on for advice from the lawn pest experts at Florida Pest Control!
How Do I Know I Have Chinch Bugs?
A chinch bug problem is hard to assess until its presence is obvious in many cases. Because these bugs are so small, it’s important to be able to tell both what they look like and how their damage appears:
- Chinch bug appearance: Thes bugs are usually about ⅛” – ¼” in length. They are brownish-red to black in color with six legs and a pair of lighter wings that fold over each other across their backs.
- Chinch bug damage: Although chinch bugs will also go after leafy debris, thatch, and agricultural crops sometimes, you’re most likely to find them attacking your lawn. When they eat away at our grass blades, they inject a toxin into the plant that inhibits future growth and leads to a yellowing or browning surface appearance. They prefer to eat grass that sees more sunlight.
What to Do to Control Chinch Bugs
If you suspect you have chinch bugs because of recent damage to your lawn, you can try something called the “floatation method” to substantiate your claim. Cut out the bottom of a metal can and press it down 3 inches into the soil of a damaged part of your lawn. If you consistently pour water into the can over 5 minutes, any chinch bugs below will float to the surface.
Whether or not this reveals a chinch bug infestation, we recommend taking these three steps to prevent lawn pest infestations:
- Install an irrigation system to make sure your lawn’s water intake is regulated in accordance with slope, sunlight, and species
- Fertilize your lawn with a slow-releasing nitrogen fertilizer (or a different type depending on what kind of grass you have)
- Team up with your local lawn pest exterminators to set up a prevention or removal plan
Get Rid of Chinch Bugs in Florida
If you want to get rid of chinch bugs and restore your lawn to its beautiful state today, reach out to your local pest control company. At Florida Pest Control, our technicians are trained to assess every lawn for a long list of factors to determine the best way to progress with an integrated pest management plan. We can make sure your lawn stays free of chinch bugs and all other lawn pests every summer. For a free quote, reach out today!