Your North Texas lawn needs three things to thrive: sun, water, and food. If you are doing everything right, yet your lawn looks like it has drought damage, fungal disease or iron deficiency, you may have chinch bugs. These guys are bad news. In fact, I’ve seen chinch bugs cause more lawn damage than any other insect. What makes matters even worse is when the first signs pop up in the form of small yellowing spots, people assume they have drought damage, fungal disease or iron deficiency, and waste time and money trying to fix the wrong problem.
In North Texas chinch bugs only attack St. Augustine lawns. They love hot, dry soil and will almost always start eating the grass near concrete. They like to start by a sidewalk or driveway and work their way out into your lawn.
How can you tell if you have chinch bugs? To be honest, it can be tough. The lawn gurus will tell you to search for them at the outside edge of the damage. They say you can spot them there, but I’ve personally spent a long time staring at a spot and only rarely have I actually seen the chinch bugs. If you can’t get a visual on them, an easier way is to check your soil by jamming a big screw diver into the ground, and stick you finger into the hole. If your soil feels damp and you don’t see any obvious sprinkler issues you probably have chinch bugs and should treat for them. Another way is to shove a coffee can into the soil and fill it with water. If you see flea-like insects floating to the top, you’ve got chinch bugs.
Unlike grubworms, there is no preventative for chinch bugs. The only way to control them is to treat them while they are actively feeding. At Village Green we apply Bifenthrin which has proven to be very effective in killing them.
Even though there is no preventative for chinch bugs, the Village Green surface insect program can significantly reduce the risk of wide scale chinch bug damage. Our surface insect program uses Bifenthrin, which controls fleas, ticks, and ants in addition to reducing your chance of large areas chinch bug damage. We apply it every month or so during the peak insect season and it usually kills off any active chinch bugs too. The surface insect program is an added cost to our 8 visit lawn care program. If you’d like more information on it or questions regarding your lawn call at 972-495-6990 or email our Founder and President, Ken Hyatt at [email protected]. We’d be happy to answer your questions if you want to do it yourself. Or if you want to save time and have us do it, we’d be happy to give you an estimate on what it would cost for our .