Chinch Bugs are one of the most persistent insect pests of St. Augustine lawns.  Chinch bug damage is characterized by irregular patches of dead grass surrounded by a halo of yellow, dying grass.  Frequently,  chinch bug infestation is first discovered along sidewalks, driveways or curbs.  Damage can develop rapidly during hot, dry weather, as these conditions enhance the survival of chinch bug eggs and nymphs.  

Determining whether your lawn is infested with chinch bugs is quick and easy.  Simply cut out both ends of a coffee can, place the can firmly into a dead area of sod and fill the can with water.  If you see insects like the ones below, you have chinch bugs.

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The best defense against chinch bug infestation is installing a resistant type of sod, such as Floratam.  But when visible damage is evident, chemical control is required.  Products containing diazinon, chlorpyrifos (Dursban), or acephate (Orthene) are recommended for homeowner application.  Mix and/or apply according to package directions paying careful attention to all precautions and disposal recommendations on the label.

 

This web site is maintained by Master Gardener Laura Bellmore, under the direction of William M. Johnson, Ph.D., County Extension Agent-Horticulture & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

All digital photographs are the property of  the Galveston County Master Gardener Association, Inc. (GCMGA) 2002-2010 GCMGA - All Rights Reserved.