Here in Texas, our lawns are a point of pride. Keeping them healthy and beautiful all year long takes a bit of effort, but the effort is worth it. However, there is a serious threat to your Texas lawn: chinch bugs. These pests cause devastating damage and they do it very quickly. Here are a chinch bug control tips to help you protect your lawn.
The best way to combat chinch bugs is to get ahead of them. Learn to spot the insects and their damage before they get out of hand. This will reduce the amount of damage that’s done to your lawn, saving you time and money. Here are a few tips for identifying chinch bugs and their damage before it’s too late.
At only 3.5mm fully grown, chinch bugs are tiny, especially considering the amount of damage they’re capable of causing. Adult chinch bugs are black with white wings folded over their body and two small black spots on their wings.
Chinch bugs live in the layer of thatch in your grass, especially if your thatch is too thick. Thatch is the layer of grass clippings and other organic material that sits at the base of your turf, just above the soil. This is where chinch bugs live, lay their eggs, and eat. Having a thin layer of thatch in your lawn is actually healthy for your grass. It helps conserve and retain water and protects your grass roots from fluctuating temperatures and drought conditions. However, if your layer of thatch is thicker than a half-inch, then it’s time to dethatch or aerate your lawn.
Identifying damage from these pests can be tricky. Grass that is suffering from chinch bug damage looks like it’s suffering from drought damage. This is due to the way these bugs attack your grass.
Chinch bugs attack the crown of your grass, just below the layer of thatch. They suck out the sap and inject a toxic substance that blocks water from being transported in the grass blades. This results in the grass drying up and turning yellow or brown. Because chinch bug populations can grow quickly, you will see large irregular swathes of your turf turning brown or yellow. If you don’t address this quickly, the grass will die off.
If you want to know a sure-fire way of finding out if your lawn is suffering from chinch bugs, we have a cool trick for you. Take a coffee can and cut the bottom out of it, you want to have both ends open. Press the coffee can into or around a damaged area of turf, make sure it is pressed all the way to the soil. Finally, fill the can with water. The chinch bugs will float to the top and you’ll be able to see if you have a chinch bug problem that needs further attention.
One way to control chinch bugs is by maintaining your layer of thatch. If your thatch is thicker than a half-inch, then it will be the perfect home for pests. If your yard isn’t too big, you can reduce your thatch layer with a dethatching rake. However, if you have a bigger lawn, then aeration is the answer for you.
Here at LawnLab, we use liquid aeration which is the future of aeration. Liquid aeration is a lawn care service that aims to reduce thatch and relieve soil compaction. A special liquid is sprayed over the lawn, this liquid encourages beneficial microbes and enzymes in your lawn. These microbes and enzymes naturally break down thatch and relieve the lawn of soil compaction.
While reducing your layer of thatch is a great way to control chinch bug infestations, what happens if the problem gets out of control? Sometimes a more targeted approach is needed. Here at LawnLab, we have a chinch bug control treatment for your lawn. Our insecticide targets chinch bugs where they live and eat.
Here at LawnLab, we understand the pain of having a chinch bug infestation. That’s why we’ve developed a targeted chinch bug treatment to help protect your lawn from these destructive pests. For best results, invest in our lawn care program to keep your grass healthy all year long.