Spring Bugs: Chinch Bugs
Are you noticing expanding yellow and brown patches in your lawn? You might have chinch bugs.
Chinch bugs usually are active in North-Central Florida lawns during the months of March through November and year round in South Florida. Though chinch bugs may only live up to two months, it is thought that 7-10 generations may develop each year. Chinch bugs range from 1/8 to 1/5 inches in length and have small, slender black bodies with white wings folded on their back. Some have full-sized, functional wings while others are short-winged and incapable of flight.
Chinch bugs are seriously damaging to St Augustine and other turf grass species. They feed off of the plants through their needle-like beak which can result in yellowish and brown patches in lawns. These affected areas are frequently noticed first along concrete or asphalt-paved edges, or in water-stressed areas where the grass is growing in full sun.
To check if chinch bugs are present in your lawn, push one end of a can, with both ends removed, into the ground about 2-3 inches down. Fill the can with soapy water and monitor for five minutes. If chinch bugs are present they will float to the surface. It is important to check several different areas where the yellow spots and green grass meet.
You can control chinch bug reproduction by keeping a healthy lawn, maintaining adequate moisture levels, proper fertilization and mowed to a height of 3-4 inches.
Other bugs to watch out for this season include Aphids and the White Fly. These insects feed on vegetable plantings, ornamentals and tender plant parts such as grass shoots.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about keeping your lawn healthy this spring, give us a call today!