What Are Chinch Bugs?
Blissus leucopterus also known as chinch bugs are small insects that have made their way into Tennessee. While you may have a hard time spotting them on your lawn in Memphis, these bugs can do extensive damage to your lawn!
Being a somewhat new pest to the memphis area many infestations are going undiagnosed leading to extensive damage and costly replacement and repairs.
How long do chinch bugs live?
Chinch bugs typically live for less than one year. From spring to summer is usually when eggs are laid.
Where Do Chinch Bugs Live?
Chinch bugs prefer dry, hot climates. Warm and moist climate for prolonged periods tend to have a negative impact on their population. This is due to the fact that those conditions are conducive to the growth of certain fungi that can be fatal to the chinch bug. Heavy rain can also deplete the population of chinch bugs due to the fact that the chinch nymphs become trapped in the soil as a result of the water and can die as a result.
How Do Chinch Bugs Damage Your Lawn?
Chinch bugs live in your grass and crops. These bugs tend to feed on wheat, barley, corn and turfgrass. If you have chinch bugs in your turfgrass, you will typically start to see yellow patches or discoloration of your lawn. This is due to the fact that while sucking the nutrients from the grass, they release a toxin leading to the discoloration of your lawn. We all want a nice, full, green lawn so treating it for chinch bugs early on can help keep your lawn healthy!
How Can You Tell if You Have Chinch Bugs?
You can always try to inspect your lawn. This may be challenging as these bugs are small and light brown or reddish depending on where they are in their life cycle. You will typically see a white stripe on their abdomen. If you notice a discoloration to a small part of your lawn, you should certainly take a deeper look. If the problem goes untreated, they can destroy a much larger section, or all of your lawn. IF you are unsure, we recommend contacting a trusted lawn care company.
How Can I Get Rid of Chinch Bugs?
You can always use an everyday pesticide from a local retailer and apply it to an impacted area to help get rid of chinch bugs. One problem that many have faced is the resistance that has been built by the chinch bugs to these everyday pesticides. This is the same way that bacterias build a resistance to typically prescribed antibiotics.
Here Are A Couple Of Other DIY Tips:
- Frequently water your lawn.
- Due to the fact that they love hot dry conditions, water can help deplete their population. If you live in an area that receives frequent rainfall, this likely would not be so difficult. But in areas that go long periods of time without rain, you may want to consider watering your lawn, frequently.
- Removing excess thatch can also help minimize that likelihood of chinch bugs inhabiting your lawn.
What If I Still Have Chinch Bugs Once I Treat My Lawn?
If you apply a pesticide and notice that your lawn damage continues to spread, we recommend contacting a local pest control company. From there, they can develop a plan to contain, treat and revive the impacted area of your lawn. In some instances, you may have to treat more than once to ensure that your lawn remains chinch bug free. Early detection is key as the cost of treatment is far less than re-sodding damaged turf areas.
Are Chinch Bugs Harmful to Humans?
Chinch bugs pose no threat to humans. While they can wreak havoc on your lawn, they will not hurt your little ones or fury friends playing in the yard. In the event that a chinch bug mistakes your hair follicle for a blade of grass, you may experience mild itching.
Do Chinch Bugs Have Wings?
Initially, the nymphs do not have wings. As they grow into their adult form, they do develop wings. Although they develop wing, it seems that a very small percentage of chinch bugs actually take flight.