Your lawn is the first thing guests notice when they visit, and brown or dying patches caused by chinch bugs will negatively affect the exterior of your home. Chinch bugs are problematic pests that will continue damaging your lawn long after they have stopped feeding on the turfgrass. Once it's hot enough in South Florida, it's not long before the dreaded chinch bugs come to suck the life out of our turfgrass. They especially like to chew up lawns that aren't taken care of very well. In other words, well-watered and well-fertilized lawns are the best way to keep chinch bugs at bay. But what if you suspect you've got chinch bugs? Is there a quick way to tell?
If you don't see them when you get down on your hands and knees in your lawn, try the tin-can method. Cut out both ends of a tin can, making a tube. Push one end of your tube into the ground. Then pour water into the can and keep it filled for 10 minutes. If you have chinch bugs, they'll start floating up to the surface. Unfortunately, in many cases, people make the wrong diagnosis when chinch bugs begin their damage. Quite often, when the first telltale sign pops up in the form of small yellowing spots, people either assume they have a fungal disease or iron deficiency. Then, they spray in vain with a fungicide or put out an iron supplement or fertilizer. And even when people think they have chinch bugs, they sometimes don't treat often enough to break the cycle.
Chinch Bug Treatment
The chemicals trichlorfon, bifenthrin and carbaryl can help effectively control chinch bugs in lawns. Your technician will determine the extent of damage and which treatment is best. They will also provide you with appropriate watering instructions as each type of treatment requires different watering and may require multiple treatments. For example, Trichlorfon is available in granular form and is applied to lawns using a seed spreader to evenly distribute the insecticide. The typical rate is 2 pounds of trichlorfon granular per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Liquid pesticides containing bifenthrin as the active ingredient are typically applied using a rate of 0.5 to 1.0 fluid ounces for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Some bifenthrin pesticides recommend irrigating the lawn immediately after treating the area with at least 0.25 inches of water. For carbaryl pesticides in dust form, irrigate the lawn before applying the pesticide at a rate of 6 to 8 quarts for every 1,000 square feet. It is important to treat the entire lawn, not just the damaged area, and refrain from irrigating the lawn for 24 hours after the carbaryl treatment.
Chinch Bug Prevention
To help reduce the number of chinch bugs in your lawn, make sure to thoroughly water the lawn when there are periods of hot, dry weather. About 1 to 2 inches of rainfall a week should provide enough water to reduce the chinch bug population in your lawn.
Hugh Turner Pest Control can provide you with the proper chinch bug treatment for your lawn. We will also examine your watering and fertilizing practices to ensure the problem does not reoccur.
Chinch Bug Detection and Treatment