Chinch Bug Damage Repair
Suppose your lawn has been ruined by chinch bugs, the easiest way to fix this would be to do the following best practices:
- Water more often
- Use turfgrass thats resistant to chinch bugs
- Apply pesticides
- Fertilize new grass
- Overseed damaged areas with perennial ryegrasses, fescues, and similar grass types
Remember, chinch bugs damage is often confused with drought damage. Read the first introductory paragraph to understand the differences between chinch bug and drug damage. The lawn can grow back even after chinch bug damage. But you should really look for the color of grass:
If its yellow, the grass should recover. Any other color thats darker wont and youll have to reseed the lawn to get your grass back.
One type of grass thats debated highly against using is St. Augustine grass, AKA Stenotaphrum secundatum. The reason is that chinch bugs prefer eating this type of grass and youre just asking for trouble. This grass is often grown through zones 8 through 10.
Monitor Your Yard And Identify Which Pests You Have
Did You Get Rid Of The Chinch Bugs
Well, that should do it.
If youre still having problems with chinch bugs, post what youve tried so far here in the comments sections and Ill try to get back to you ASAP.
Or if youve had success with this or experience, wed all like to hear it so we can all benefit from it! Let me know in the comments section as well!
Thanks for reading.
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What Chinch Bugs Look Like
Chinch bugs are easy to recognize but hard to see.
- Adults are about inch long with black bodies and white wings folded across their backs.
- Nymphs start out yellow, then turn red as they grow, eventually becoming black as they reach maturity.
- Chinch bugs mature in about 4 to 6 weeks.
- Telltale white stripe across their bodies.
Slaughter By Soap Spray
Sprays composed of soap and detergent diluted in water are effective against insects on the lawn. Instead of combining household soaps with water and spraying it on the grass, seek out insecticidal soaps, which are specially formulated to kill insects and protect plants. While grass is tough, you should dilute the insecticidal soap even further than the package recommends, starting with light formulations of about 1 percent — 2 1/2 tablespoons in 1 gallon of water — and testing effectiveness and lawn health before moving on.
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What Do Billbugs Look Like
Scientifically referred to as Sphenophorus spp., there are eleven different species of billbugs including rocky mountain billbugs, unequal billbugs, hunting billbugs, and bluegrass billbugs.
Contrary to what the name may suggest, billbugs arent real bugs, but are long-snouted weevils beetles that are regarded as pests, because of their ability to damage and kill crops.
Adult billbugs measure between 1/5-inches and ¾-inches long, and are generally reddish-brown to black in color. Speaking of which, adult billbugs do not cause major feeding damage to your turfgrass, but its the larvae aka grubs of the billbugs that cause serious problems.
What If Theyre In My House
Chinch bugs dont really infest the house unless theyre just stray and wandering around.
Typically, they can be tracked into the home if you have pets or kids walking on the lawn and then carrying them into your house. They wont naturally go into your home and infect it for no reason.
Theres no lawn there, and theres no thatch. Even if you have a ton of indoor plants, as long as theyre not grassy types, you should have no problem with chinch bugs in your home. Unless you have plants like cat grass or wheatgrass, you should have chinch bug problems.
Theyre likely just lost souls that someone found their way right into your home. Just eliminate them and be sure youre not tracking them in somehow. Also, check your kids and pets, and be sure to check the shoes, clothing, and anything else that can be used as a vessel for bug transportation.
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Soapy Water On Lawn: Precautions
If you have sensitive plants, such as those recently planted or undergoing a stressful condition , you may want to steer clear of soapy water. Always test the effectiveness and safety of your dish soap solution on a small section of a single plant before applying it to your entire lawn and garden.
Other plants that may be sensitive to soap sprays include portulaca sweet pea bleeding heart nasturtiums , and Easter lilies , just to name a few. Conifers or plants can be sensitive under dry conditions, while those with thick waxy coatings can show degradation in color when soaps are used.
In some cases, it may make more sense to use a commercial insecticidal soap, according to Clemson University. Thats because these soaps are essentially just highly refined versions of liquid dish soap, but theyve been processed to remove additives that can burn a plant. When in doubt, avoid dry or undiluted dish detergent along with any type of laundry detergent.
Things You Will Need
- Other ingredients to consider for homemade pesticide mixes include molasses, baking soda and garlic.
- Dish soap sprays may not be safe for use on all plants. The soap can dissolve the waxy coating on some plant leaves, for example. Before using the spray, test it on a single leaf. If the plant shows an adverse reaction, discontinue use.
The Lawn Pest Control Specialist Of Orlando Fl
Consider hiring a professional if you feel like you have tried everything, but the chinch bugs keep coming back. Active Environmental is the lawn pest control specialist in the Orlando area. We can keep your lawn healthy to prevent chinch bugs or kill them off your lawn for good. Active Environmental takes care of all of your lawns needs. Contact us for your quote today!
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Light Up Some Citronella
Citronella oil comes from a combination of naturally bug-repellent grasses. In candle form, it masks the scents of carbon dioxide and human lactic acid, which are so attractive to insects. And it’s perfectly safe too! Approved by the FDA, citronella has been used to flavor foods and beverages for more than 50 years. So, get the tutorial for citronella candles, and light them up at your next backyard party for a bug-free gathering.
Mites Aka Lawn Mites Banks Grass Mites Clover Mites Or Spider Mites
Grass mites can be very problematic to lawns during hot and dry winter months. These very small insects are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Mites can be a variety of different colors, but during dry periods, particularly when mites are found indoors, they are a often a brick-red color. Grass mites feed on grass roots and blades with their rasping-sucking mouth parts and in a bad infestation they can desiccate the grass often to the point of death.
Lawn mites are usually found on the south facing sides of buildings, rock beds, sun exposed slopes and pine trees. The mites often feed on the grass from November to March during warm and dry weather and take shelter in pine trees and buildings during cold and wet weather.
Controlling lawn mites is easy. Grass mites hate water and a great way to prevent spider mite damage is to water the lawn during prolonged periods of drought stress, especially during the winter months. The water that is applied to the lawn will discourage the mites from feeding on the lawn and it will supply the grass with additional moisture to prevent desiccation. Lawns that have been watered according to the 1-2-3-2-1 lawn watering technique will have deep digging grass roots and therefore will be less likely to be killed by grass mite pressure.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Chinch Bugs
Chinch bugs like poorly tended lawns with compacted soils, accumulations of thatch, and a lack of moisture or an excess of nitrogen. Maintaining your lawn properly will discourage infestations and improve tolerance to damage. Some helpful practices include the following:
- If replanting grass, choose an insect-resistant, endophytic variety of tall fescue or rye grass .
- Aerate the lawn in spring to reduce soil compaction.
- Remove thick layers of thatch in the fall. Keep in mind that some thatch may be needed to prevent winterkill in cold regions.
- Do not over-fertilize, since this will encourage greater insect activity.
- Use water-insoluble or slow-release nitrogen fertilizers. Using 1 kg of nitrogen per 100 m2 should be enough for most lawns.
- Water the lawn thoroughly during the summer.
- Keep soil moist to a depth of 6 to 8 cm .
- Do not cut the grass too short. A length of 6 to 7.5 cm will help avoid stressing the grass.
- Add agricultural limestone when the soil pH is below 6.5.
What Are Root Feeding Grubs
Root feeding grubs include white curl grub, scarab beetle larvae, lawn beetle larvae or cockchafer. These are all common names for the juvenile stage of a lawn beetle that feeds on the lawn roots. These are not to be mixed up with the witchetty grub. These pests will feed on your lawns root system and will be a serious problem. Cool season varieties such as fescue and warm season varieties such as couch and kikuyu can experience major damage however they are usually not so much of an issue for buffalo varieties. Stressed and under nourished lawns are also at high risk of an infestation.
Adult beetles are black and shiny, about 15mm long with brown serrated legs. They lay their eggs in spring and early summer, they then develop into larvae that then feed on the roots. The pupal stage will cause no damage but in late spring/early summer when the grubs emerge, they will. The beetles are dormant or semi dormant in winter. A small infestation of black beetles can in some cases help your lawn, especially buffalo, where their tunnelling can act as an aeration technique but as soon as you see damage you should send them packing.
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Treat Your Lawn With An Insecticide
Treating your lawn with an insecticide labeled for chinch bugs is the best way to get rid of the bugs. Chinch bugs mature quickly, so it is important to apply an insecticide treatment as soon as possible.
Prepare Your Lawn for Treatment
Remove as much thatch and overgrowth from your lawn as possible so that the turf is exposed. This will ensure your insecticide reaches the chinch bugs.
Select Your Insecticide
Select an insecticide labeled for chinch bugs, such as Talstar P Professional Insecticide. The insecticide can be in either liquid or granule form, whichever you prefer.
How To Tell If Your Lawn Has Chinch Bugs
The good news is that it is possible to seek and find chinch bugs if they decide to feast on your yard. The not-so-good news is that this task can be difficult due to the small size of the insect.
Because of this, it is best practice to examine your lawn as soon as you notice dry patches.
There are a few ways you can tell if your lawn has cinch bugs. The first way we recommend is by simply using a magnifying glass and your bare hands.
Since these little bugs do no harm to humans, there is no need to worry about getting bit. You can find these pesky insects best by spreading the grass near the soil on the outer edges of your lawn and searching the thatch layer.
You may also examine the surface of the soil and the undersides of grass stolons, which are root systems that extend above the ground.
The other way is to use a coffee can. Heres what youll need to do:
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Death By Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance formed from the dead skeletons of water-dwelling organisms, known as diatoms. Their high silica content makes for a residue, usually found at the bottom of bodies of water, that is sharp, abrasive and drying. The particles are tiny small, meaning that they are not dangerous to people or pets, but will cut and dry out insect exoskeletons effectively. Because diatomaceous earth is also safe for lawns, you may sprinkle it to help with the control of many types of insects. Do not apply when lawns are wet, as that will negate its effects. You’ll have to reapply it after rain or watering the lawn.
What Are Chinch Bugs
Chinch bugs are small, pesky bugs that commonly feast on zoysia grasses and St. Augustine lawns across the United States.
A full-grown Chinch body is less than ¼-inch long and has a dark red to black body, white wings, and a white dot on its back. Nymphs are easily recognized by their bright red color and white band across their abdomen.
Both adults and nymphs produce a strong odor that often gives them away, especially when pest numbers are high or they are crushed underfoot.
You will typically find Chinch bugs on lawns at a rate of fewer than 10-15 bugs per square foot of lawn however, it is vital that you do not underestimate these small bodies.
The right conditions can cause the population to multiply to over 100 bugs per square foot of lawn.
Evidently, these bugs can do extreme damage to your lawn if left untreated. Each bug punctures the grass with their needle-like beaks and then suck the fluids out.
As a result of their feeding, large irregular patches of lawn begin to turn yellow then brown as they die. These patches often begin on the edges of lawns and will continue to get largereven when properly watered.
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Performing A Chinch Bug Float Test
You will need a few key materials to perform a chinch bug float test:
- A garden hose
- Hose end sprayer
- A tin can or coffee container
Section off a square yard of grass where you assume chinch bugs are hiding . Stick your canister into the soil, making sure to remove both sides and create a hollow tube. Next, use the hose-end sprayer to fill the canister at least 3/4 of the way with water. Maintain that water level for at least 10 minutes, adding more as necessary. Chinch bugs float to the top of the canister, allowing you to manually count their numbers. The usual threshold for treating your lawn is 15 bugs per square foot. However, you may want to begin treatments immediately if your lawn looks stressed or bare.
In any case, chinch bug control is necessary to halt the growth and spread of pests in the lawn.
Keeping Chinch Bugs Away From Your Grass
After youve started diminishing the population slowly but surely, you can start to take measures to ensure that they dont come back and infest your lawn all over again.
The first thing you should do is to remove the layer of grass that lies on the soil. This is the layer thats often referred to as the thatch, which takes up about ¾ of an inch and builds up over time.
Chinch bugs like to take shelter here and getting rid of this layer will definitely help stop them from coming back again. You can use an aerator for lawn aerating shoes. These tools will easily get rid of the thatch and keep the chinch bugs out.
You should also practice good lawn care by making sure to keep the grass trimmed and apply compost, manure, and other supplements to help bring back the damaged areas.
Use a good quality fertilizer and aged manure to help bring your lawn back quickly from chinch bug damage.
Practice mowing your lawn at least once a week to keep the clippings short which will keep the thatch layer in check.
During the summer months, keep your lawn hydrated well but dont water too much or else youll easily attract more pets. Also, keep track of when you water- its best to do so during the evening to avoid shocking the lawn from burns.
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When Do Chinch Bugs Usually Appear
Chinch bugs overwinter in the thatch of your grass and emerge in the warm springtime. Because chinch bugs prefer the heat, their populations will be quite active by late spring or early summer.
The second batch of chinch bugs for the year will hatch in the late summer after the adult females have set their eggs around mid-summer.
People may find it challenging to pinpoint chinch bugs as the source of their dead lawn patches since harm from these insects occurs when temperatures increase and stressed, cool-season grasses go dormant.