What Are Chinch Bugs?
Chinch bugs are tiny insects, which suck the juices from grass plants. If present in large numbers, chinch bugs can kill large areas or even entire lawns. Their small size makes chinch bugs difficult to detect until lawn damage is noticed. Chinch bugs reproduce in large numbers and can reproduce several times in one season. The insect thrives in hot and dry weather conditions. Thus, turfgrasses are weakened by the same weather that increases the damage caused by chinch bug feeding. The damage is usually permanent and requires renovation by seeding or sodding.
Thatch can be a contributing factor. Thatch provides a natural cover for chinch bug activity. Thick thatch layers also cause turfgrasses to be more stressed by hot, dry weather. Thatch management is part of insect damage prevention. Watering once or twice a week and watering heavily each time is helpful in preventing chinch bug damage. The water increases the hardiness of the turfgrass and provides a less favorable environment for the insects. Your lawn care specialist can advise you as to the proper actions for chinch bugs.