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Elimination

Chinch bugs are controlled in two steps. First, water the lawn thoroughly to force the insects to come to the surface. Then treat the area with insecticidal soap. You can also treat after a heavy rain. The rain will have the same effect as watering the lawn well.

Actions

  • Water the lawn around yellow patches to get insects moving
  • Apply insecticide to and around yellow patches in the lawn

Prevention

  • Check the grass on sunny slopes in May and June so you can act as soon as they appear

Description and development

Chinch bugs (Blissus leucopterus leucopterus) are hemimetabolous insects in the order Hemiptera, family Lygaeidae. The adult is about 3 mm long, with whitish wings folded over the back (upper part of the abdomen). Its body is black. Nymphs (juveniles) are smaller and red colored. They gradually become black as they approach adulthood.
Chinch bugs overwinter as adults in plant debris (dead grass, leaves, etc.) They become active again in the spring when temperatures become favorable. After mating, they start laying eggs on the lawn near the soil surface. The eggs hatch in two weeks. Nymphs usually reach maturity in 30 days. Chinch bugs generally have two generations per year.

Habits

Chinch bugs suck the sap of grasses, especially in lawns. Areas of the lawn that are attacked turn yellowish brown, making it look like the lawn has dried out due to high temperatures. Moreover, prolonged drought promotes chinch bug development so areas of the lawn exposed to sun are more vulnerable.

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