Lawn Damage in Bryan, Texas – Is it Chinch Bugs or Something Else
Chinch Bugs are small true bugs that are well known as the killers of lawns. True bugs are known to science as hemipterans which is a very large order of insects that also includes stink bugs, assassin bugs, and ambush bugs. Oddly, the ladybug is not a bug at all. They are beetles. Chinch bugs are small bugs that live in the thatch area of lawns. As a hemipteran, they have a piercing-sucking mouth which they use to ingest plant juices. Normally, that is not so much of a problem with the grasses that make up a lawn as the damage would hardly be noticeable. The problem with Chinch Bugs is that they carry a fungus in their saliva which is passed from bug to grass every time the Chinch bug feeds. That fungus is actually what kills off the grasses that make up a lawn.
Does Your Lawn Have Chinch Bugs?
Most likely it does. A well-cared-for lawn with a proper watering schedule that keeps the lawn’s moisture level at an optimum balance will keep chinch bug populations in check. This is because your lawn has natural predators that stalk and kill chinch bugs – That is if the moisture level in the lawn remains even. The problem is that many people overwater or underwater their lawn and when they do, the predators that prey on chinch bugs leave and the population of cinch bugs explodes. When that happens, your lawn appears to die almost overnight.
How Do You Know If Your Lawn Has a Chinch Bug Problem?
The damage caused by chinch bugs is not always easy to spot as it mimics many other lawn disorders such as grass die-off caused from drought, change of season (spring to summer,) fertilizer burns, and damage from overwatering.
Earlier we mentioned the lawns moisture content and that is a key consideration when diagnosing lawn damage. Chinch bugs do not mind a drier lawn and as such, they tend to move into areas where the lawn gets the most sun. It is these areas where the lawn dries out the fastest and as it does it pushes out the predators of the chinch bug. The dead zones here also look like the lawn is not getting enough water.
The damage that chinch bugs cause is not usually in a recognizable pattern. However, straight line damage is usually a good indication of chinch bugs. This is because sprinkler settings cause the water to fall just short of walkways which are often constructed in straight lines. Along those walkways the lawn tends to dry out the quickest.
Chinch bugs can cause major lawn damage in little to no time. There are treatments that help to control chinch bugs and still allow you to enjoy the full use of your lawn. The key is not found in a single application but in one that addresses the chinch bug lifecycle – Egg, nymph, instar, and adult.
If you think your lawn has chinch bug damage, reach out to our professional team for an evaluation. There are many things that damage lawns and some of them are quite benign. Before you go through the hassle and expense of spraying your lawn, make sure to have an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Our team can diagnose lawn damage quickly and affordably.