Chinch Bug, Insect Control

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Chinch Bug Control, Damage And Treatment

The chinch bug is the number one pest of  St. Augustine Grass. It will do the most damage to your lawn in a short period of time. Without chinch bug, insect control they will damage large areas as they multiply. The chinch bug is found in St. Augustine grass from southern North Carolina south to the Florida Keys, and westward to central Texas. Chinch bug damage has been found in southern California, Mexico, and Hawaii. In Florida they begin to appear in May and continue throughout the summer.

A chinch bug will suck the sap out of the roots and the stems of the grass. At first areas with chinch bug damage will begin to turn yellow in color as irregular patches, then turn reddish brown. Blades start to curl up looking grayish and dead, roots die off as they continue sucking out the juices. Chinch bugs work there way through the healthy turf. The chinch bug loves to live in dry sunny areas that have heat or drought stress. They are found in the middle of a lawn or near and along driveways and side walks working outward. As soon as there is chinch bug damage immediate insect control is needed. Chinch bugs treatment will stop them from spreading.

Description And Development Of The Chinch Bug


Chinch bugs lay their eggs and hatch in as little as one week during the summer. First they appear as bright orange in the Nymph stage, turning dark red as they begin to mature. When fully matured reaching the adult stage they are one – fifth of an inch in length, black with white wings on their back. During this stage with no chinch bug, insect control they will do the most damage, and can fly to other locations in the lawn.

 

Monitoring For Chinch Bug, Insect Control, Damage

St. Augustine Grass Chinch Bug Infestation I recommend to inspect your lawn at least once a week during the summer months. Early detection and chinch bug, insect control can stop a major infestation from occurring and keeping them under control. Walk sunny areas throughout your yard especially along the edges of pavement where they can begin to do damage.  If you notice any signs of a problem get close to the ground and seperate the blades of grass with your hands looking around and under the roots. When exposed to the sun a chinch bug will run to get out of it and you can see them. In heavy infestations they can be seen crawling over the blades. If you don’t find any chinch bugs it could be a sign of lack of water. I recommend treating extreme dry areas that have become noticeable with chinch bug, insect control. Dry areas is where they tend to lay their eggs.

Chinch Bug Elimination

The best way to get rid of them is to treat with liquid TALSTAR insecticide, soaking the area in and around it. Granular does work but needs to be thoroughly watered in right away. Blanket treating your lawn is helpful for chinch bug, insect control but there is no guarantee they will not pop up. By monitoring your lawn on a regular basis and knowing how to identify the problem is the best method for control. Following proper lawn maintenance like watering, mowing,and fertilization can reduce the chances of the chinch bug in St. Augustine grass.

As you can see at the first sign of damage, chinch bug, insect control is needed. Controlling chinch bugs will stop them from eating up your St. Augustine grass. Knowing how to identify the chinch bug and damage, is the first step in stopping an infestation.

Author, Kurt Kmetz

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Alexandra Padden
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Alexandra Padden

I live in Sarasota, Fl. I have chinch bugs in my front yard and in a small section of my back yard. We have always had a beautiful lawn and now it looks horrible! I have sprayed with an insecticide, twice, and spread granulars, twice, and watered them into the lawn. What is the next step??? Should I start fertilizing? Will I have to replace my yard??? Help!!! Thanks

Kurt
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Kurt

Alexandra, I would first check the areas that you treated to see if the chinch bugs were eliminated since eggs could have hatched new ones. If you find any treat area again. My article on Chinch Bug, Insect Control will help you in identifying them. Keep monitoring your lawn to see if any have spread to other locations. Depending on the size of the damaged areas are will determine what needs to be done. If it is a very small area you can fertilize and St. Augustine grass will grow back with new runners from the root system, but will… Read more »

monica
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monica

hello, kurt, i has read so many of these questions to you, i have my own, my husband will not listen to me and all the lawn lied last year we are only here two and a halt yrs now and have to re do the lawn costing us the money we didnt have, now, my husband have this lawn guy who has been looking after the lawn since febuary and he said there are chinch bugs he showed them to my husband but froma few feet it is now many feets so yelow and browning in the front some… Read more »

Kurt
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Kurt

Monica, I fully understand the concerns that you have. You should not have to continue to keep replacing large areas in your lawn. However, even if a lawn is treated by a lawn care company there is no guarantee that problems will not occur, especially chinch bugs. How severe the problems become is determined by certain factors. Some factors to be considered are the following: 1. How often is the lawn serviced? For best results it should be done 8 times a year,(which is usually every 6 weeks). 2. How soon are the problem areas treated after they become noticeable?(the… Read more »

Debbi
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Debbi

The lawn has been destroyed by cinchbugs and I need to resod. Is it save to use the insectivide on the new topsoil? Or will the insecticide kill freshly-laid sod?

Kurt
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Kurt

Debbi, Treating the soil with insecticide prior to installing new sod should not be harmful to the new turf. However, I do recommend reading the label before applying the chemical. Before planting the new sod make sure all the chinch bugs have been completely eliminated. Sometimes the insecticide might not have killed off all of them, plus some of the eggs might get left behind. It is good sometimes to treat the area a second time. If you are using a liquid insecticide soak the soil thoroughly, and 2-3ft. into the edges of any turf still remaining. If you apply… Read more »

Nancy
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Nancy

I am having issues with my St. Augustine grass being infested with ‘Jew’ grass. My lawn service company tells me these are uncontollable weeds and they can’t kill them. They say genetically these weeds are too close to the grass and if they treat with weed killer, it will kill the grass too. But the weeds are taking over the yard very rapidly and I feel there has to be something that can control them. The lawn service says the only thing I can do is remove the weeds and resod costing me thousands of dollars. Is there anything I… Read more »

Kurt
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Kurt

Nancy, Here is some information on weed control for lawns that is standard practice by lawn spray companies today. First, let me explain the two types of chemicals (Herbicides) that are used for weeds and unwanted grasses. One is considered as a “Selective” Herbicide, which kills off only certain types of weeds(like broadleaf weeds) without harming the lawn grass. The other is a “Non Selective” Herbicide, which will kill off everything both weeds and grass. Lawn spray companies use a “Selective” Herbicide, so they can treat for weeds without harming St. Augustine grass. However, these chemicals Do Not kill unwanted… Read more »

ted
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ted

Hello Kurt,

How often should I spread Triazciede. I spread across the whole yard about 1 month ago as I was told my new St. Augustine sod most likely had chinch bugs. While it hasn’t seem to have gotten any worse, it also hasn’t gotten any better.

Would it hurt to lay a second layer now that a month has passed?

Also, is it damaging to lay fungicide more than once a month?

Thanks,

Ted

Kurt
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Kurt

Ted, It is OK to treat the entire lawn with insecticide now that a month has passed. Most lawn care companies generally treat lawns with insecticide every 6 weeks to help control insect problems, you might want to consider doing this as a regular program, especially during the hotter months. However, chinch bugs can pop up between treatments, so it is good to always keep an eye on your lawn for any sign of them. My article “Chinch Bug, Insect Control” has information on how to monitor your lawn for any activity. If between treatments you suddenly have chinch bugs… Read more »

Elisabeth Rietveld
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Elisabeth Rietveld

KURT,

this summer I had chinch bugs who damage my backyard, I have 4 chickens and they where working hard by eating them ,but there where to many, now i cleaned the grass up by taking everything out and want to put new sod in.
My question is ,can I put granules for chinch bugs and then put the sod on top or do I have to wait a couple of days?

Kurt
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Kurt

Elisabeth,
You can apply insecticide to the soil prior to installing sod. However, make sure all chinch bugs have been completely eliminated before laying anything down.

Wait one week after treating the area and see if any existing chinch bugs are still around, and if any eggs have hatched new ones. You might have to treat the area again until they are all gone.

Keep your chickens off the area until after the sod has been installed.

Kurt

Katie
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Katie

Is Talstar safe for pets? I have three dogs. They are indoor dogs who use the backyard mostly. They do however, use the front yard (where we have a severe chinch bug problem) when we take them for walks. Please advise. Thank you.

Kurt
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Kurt

Katie, When lawns are treated with liquid Talstar insecticide, it is generally safe for human or pet traffic 24 hours after application. For granular it is the same after it has been watered in. I do recommend reading the labels of any brand of insecticide product that you apply for information pertaining to this. If you have a lawn spray company contact them for any questions on what product they use and safety. From my experience I did come across some dogs that were highly allergic to grass or chemicals and the owner had to keep them completely off lawns… Read more »

Tasha
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Tasha

How soon after applying Bug B gone should I mow my yard and apply weed and feed?

Kurt
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Kurt

Tasha,
You can apply any weed and feed as soon as you desire. Insecticide, fertilizer and weed control can be done at the same time, so you are safe.

Usually it is good to mow before applications, but you can do it 24hrs after each product has been watered in.

Kurt