How to Control Chinch Bugs in the Lawn

They can kill a lawn fast.


Chinch bugs feed on many kinds of lawn grasses, but St. Augustine grass and zoysia grass are favorites. Both the adults and nymphs suck the juices out of the blades and inject a chemical that causes the blades to turn brown and die. Heavy infestations may completely kill the lawn. These sun- and heat-loving insects seldom attack shady lawns. They can move across an entire lawn in several days.

Adult chinch bugs are about one-fifth of an inch long and black with white wings folded over their backs. Nymphs are yellow upon hatching then turn red with a light colored band across their abdomens. The nymphs develop into adults in 4-6 weeks. There can be 2-4 generation per year.

Symptoms that may indicate the presence of chinch bugs can be seen from April through October. The grass wilts, turns yellowish brown, dries out, and dies in sunny areas along sidewalks and driveways.

What To Do

  • Regular feedings provide the nutrients your lawn and gardens need to grow strong to better protect themselves from insect damage.
  • Water plants, including the lawn, just as they begin to wilt. Stressed plants are more susceptible to insect damage.
  • Identify and control the problem early.