Signs of Chinch Bugs in Your Dallas Lawn
Hot summers in Dallas often cause lawns to become stressed. If you notice brown patches in your lawn, drought stress or lawn disease may be the first to blame. But chinch bugs may be the culprit. In severe cases, these small insects can do a lot of damage to Texas lawns. It’s important to know how to spot signs of chinch bugs in your lawn.
What are Chinch Bugs?
Chinch bugs are a common pest that can cause damage to various types of grass. These small insects feed on the sap of grass plants, causing the grass to turn yellowish brown, and die. They are particularly problematic in hot and dry conditions, which makes areas of North Texas especially vulnerable. Adult chinch bugs are very small, with black bodies and white wings. When hatched, nymphs appear orange with a white strip across their body. As they grow, they eventually turn black and develop their wings. The full life cycle of the common chinch bug is about six weeks with multiple generations occurring annually.
Common Signs of Chinch Bug Damage
Most of the time, chinch bugs prefer to feed on St. Augustine grass but Bermuda and Zoysia grass can be affected as well. Due to the dry weather of summers in Dallas, they are most active from July-September. Chinch bugs use their mouthparts to suck sap from the grass blade at the base and stolons. They also inject a toxic substance that prevents the plant from transporting water. Damaged areas often resemble drought damage or heat stress, causing patches of grass to appear yellow. However, drought stress normally affects the entire lawn evenly. A sure sign of chinch bug damage will look like dead patches in your lawn because they tend to feed in large groups as they move throughout turfgrass lawns.
How to Prevent Chinch Bug Infestations
Homeowners can limit chinch bugs invading the lawn with proper cultural practices. Annual aeration and dethatching are recommended to break down the thatch layer. Thatch is a layer of dead grass, debris, and organic material that builds up over time in between the soil and lawn surface. Proper mowing is another DIY pest control effort that can help prevent chinch bugs and other lawn insects. Mow the lawn at the recommended height for your grass type on a weekly schedule for a healthy lawn.
Chinch Bug Control for Dallas Lawns
Insecticides are the best way to control active chinch bug infestations in your lawn. When using store-bought pest control products, make sure to follow all the label guidelines and safety instructions. For homeowners in Dallas looking for professional lawn pest control, Lawn Tech is here to help! Since 1985, we’ve provided lawn care services, aeration, tree and shrub care, and lawn pest control in Dallas and surrounding areas. Our services can help prevent chinch bugs before they invade your outdoor space so you can focus on enjoying your summer. Contact us today for a free quote!