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Chinch Bug Management in
Turf Grasses, Lawns

The southern chinch bug is the most damaging insect pest of St. Augustinegrass.  This pest occasionally feeds on other grasses such as Bermudagrass, Bahiagrass, Zoysiagrass and Centipede.  The chinch bug ranges from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and as far west as central Texas.  Certain areas of southern California and Hawaii have also reported damage from chinch bugs.  Another serious pest of cool season grasses is the hairy chinch bug which is found in northern areas of the country.

Description, Development of Chinch Bugs Damage to Lawns Chinch Bug Management

The adult stage of the chinch bug is black with white wings.  Some adult chinch bugs have short non functional wings.  This lawn pest develops through five nymphal stages or instars.  First and second instars of the southern chinch bug are bright orange while the third and fourth instars are dark red and the final instar is black, closely resembling the adult chinch bug.

The development of the chinch bug is affected by temperature variation where eggs are laid.  These eggs can hatch as quickly as several days during the heat of the summer to more than a month if laid during cooler spring days.  Chinch bug nymphs can develop from four to six weeks during summer months.  The southern chinch bug can produce anywhere from three to seven generations, depending on location and temperature.

Chinch Bug Damage to Lawns

Chinch bugs damage lawns by inserting their piercing/ sucking mouthparts into the crowns, stems and stolons of grass plants to remove sap.  During this process they inject a toxin that causes the grass to turn yellow,  which makes damage appear as irregular yellow patches of turf.  These damaged areas turn reddish brown and eventually die, while the chinch bugs move outward into healthy grass.  A yellow halo around the damaged area is typical of a chinch bug infestation.  Damage from chinch bugs shows up first in sunny areas with heat or drought stressed grass and which is often areas near pavement or sidewalks.

Chinch Bug Management

The key to controlling chinch bug infestations is early detection.  Even after proper pesticide application is made and most chinch bugs are killed, damage or symptoms will continue to appear for up to two weeks.  During heat of the summer, drought conditions or during water restrictions, chinch bugs are very active which requires repeated pesticide application to save turf grasses.
Talstar products are giving the best control of chinch bug infestations, supplying a long residual and a very fast knockdown of lawn pests such as chinch bugs.  Choose between Talstar Concentrate and Talstar Granules.  One bag of Talstar granules will cover 5,000 to 10,000 square feet of turf grass.  Talstar concentrate can be applied at 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce per 1,000 square feet of turf.

Talstar Granular Information        Talstar Concentrate Information

Lawn Pests    Molecrickets    Chinch Bugs    Fungus    Pest Control