Chinch Bugs Have Arrived

It has been a fairly hot, dry July and as a result, we are finding high numbers of chinch bugs in the Wake Co. area. Chinch bugs have been active in isolated spots on the coast for the last two weeks and as temperatures have consistently remained in the mid-high 90s with little rainfall, chinch bug damage has become more apparent.

Chinch bug adults are tiny insects that are oval-shaped and have shiny white wings that have distinctive, triangular black markings (pic). The nymphs are even smaller and will often look orange or orange-brown and will not have fully-developed wings.

Chinch bug adult, M. Bertone

They are pests of warm-season grasses, especially St Augustinegrass, and are typically more of a problem in open, sunny areas. The easiest way to diagnose a chinch bug infestation is to bend down close to the turf surface and part the turf canopy so that you can see the soil surface. You will be able to see nymphs and adults (varying sizes and colors) moving across the surface as shown in the video below.

For more info and control recommendations, check out the Chinch Bug Turf Pest Info Sheet on Turffiles.