Chinch bugs are small, brown to black bugs that infest lawns and turf causing damage to infected plants. Most active in the southern zones, we have a few species here in the states which get active in the spring and feed all summer long never bothered by heat or drought.
CHINCH BUG BIOLOGY
Chinch bugs live for about 1 year. When fully mature, they’ll barely be 1/8th of an inch long so even as an adult, they’re hard to see.
Chinch bugs get active in early spring as they emerge from overwintering turf. Adults mate and females will lay 200 or more eggs after 30-45 days of activity.
Larvae will hatch the following weeks and begin to feed on plants where they hatch. In the yard, this will be down around the base of grass blades but it could be on established vines, shrubs or other ground cover.
During this time larvae will be growing through various instars or stages. After completing 6-7 of these stages, they’ll become full sized adults with wings.
Chinch bugs will typically stay active in lawns and ground cover with good food. But if conditions change, they will migrate away seeking food and good refuge.
CHINCH BUG DAMAGE
The main damage chinch bugs do is the killing of the grass on which they feed. Ground cover will often times live without a lot of suffering so it can be hard to notice the signs. But turf will succumb to the chewing and sucking. This is especially true as the heat of summer arrives and the “dog days of summer” take hold.
Grass damaged by chinch bugs can looks much like fungus damage or even “burnt out” turf. But if you notice patches that grow in size uniformly, its a good sign of chinch bugs. Fungus tends to develop in odd shapes as will grub damage. But chinch bug damage can be massive and tends to keep growing as the expanding population widens its feeding range.
Close inspection of the turf will many times uncover active chinch bugs. Their small size makes them easy to miss but anyone informed about what to look for will readily find various stages nestled in damaged turf.
HOW TO TREAT LAWNS INFESTED WITH CHINCH BUGS
Chinch bugs can be hard to control. Most people believe they should be easy to kill because they’re small. But since their stages can be developing in the ground soil as well as thatch or the growing grass, it can be hard to reach all active stages. For this reason one must use two formulations to insure thorough coverage.
LAWN GRANULES FOR CHINCH BUGS
To initiate the process, apply MAXXTHOR GRANULES to as much of the turf as possible. Don’t limit the treatment to just the damaged areas. Its highly likely they’re active in other areas and leaving these small pockets alive means they’ll come back.
Maxxthor should be applied at the rate of 1-2 lbs per 1,000 sq/ft of turf. A 12.5 lb jug will cover 6000-12000 sq/ft. Renew treatments every 30 days for the first 3 months of the process. After they’re gone, treat every 3 months to insure they don’t come back.
BEST CHINCH BUG SPRAY
After the granules are applied, spray over the top with a concentrate proven to work on chinch bugs. CYONARA RTS is a good odorless active that works well on this pest. Use 1 quart for every 15,000 sq/ft. Cyonara is packed in a “ready to spray” jug making handy for small yards measuring 5,000 sq/ft or less.
If your lot is 10,00 sq/ft or more, go with MAXXTHOR EC. This concentrate goes a lot further and over time, will prove to be more cost effective.
Use 1 oz of Maxxthor for every 5,000 sq/ft in 5 gallons of water. Our HOSE END SPRAYER is well suited for the job (seen below).
Use a good HOSE END SPRAYER to apply the Maxxthor. With our sprayer, you’d add 1 oz of Maxxthor and then fill it up to the 5 gallon line with water. Next, you’d hook it to your garden hose and spray the entire amount over a 5,000 sq/ft area.
WHEN TO RETREAT FOR CHINCH BUGS
Expect to apply granules every 30 days for chinch bugs for the first 3 months. Once they’re gone, treat every 3 months to keep them away.
The liquids need to be applied more frequently. For initial treatments, expect to spray twice a month for the first 2 months. After that, once every 3 months after the granules are applied should keep them away for good.