Tips for Avoiding Chinch Bugs

May 20, 2016 | Lawn Insect Control Tips

The Dilemma of St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass is popular among homeowners due to its lush, green appearance. However, this type of lawn is particularly susceptible to chinch bugs, especially when grown in full sun conditions. While switching to a different type of turf may seem like an easy solution, it may not be a practical option for many homeowners, particularly those with shade in their yards.

Unfortunately, chinch bugs can cause significant damage to St. Augustine grass, feeding on the grass and injecting a toxic substance that can quickly kill the plants. This can result in large, brown, dead patches in your lawn, and the bugs will continue spreading as the affected area grows.

The Threat of Chinch Bugs

If you have St. Augustine grass, you might know the potential threat of chinch bugs. These tiny pests are known to cause significant damage to lawns, and their impact can often be mistaken for other problems. For example, a chinch bug infestation can cause the grass to appear brown and dead, making homeowners think they are dealing with drought or another issue. In reality, chinch bugs feed on the grass and inject a toxin that causes the plants to die.

The small size of chinch bugs, about 1/5 of an inch long, can make them difficult to spot. But, the damage they cause is easy to see. The dead patch can quickly spread and engulf a larger lawn area as the infestation grows. To make matters worse, chinch bugs are attracted to sunny areas, making St. Augustine grass particularly susceptible, especially in full sun.

While changing the turf type is an option to avoid chinch bugs, this may not be a realistic choice for many homeowners, especially those with shade in their yards. So, it’s essential to be vigilant and take steps to prevent or manage a chinch bug infestation. Proper lawn maintenance, including fertilization and thatch removal, can help keep chinch bugs and other pests away from your lawn.


The classic tin can method is a simple and effective way to determine if you have a chinch bug infestation in your lawn. To use this method:

  • Obtain a tin can and cut off both ends.
  • Push one end of the can into the middle of the dying patch in your lawn.
  • Fill the can with water and keep it filled for about 10 minutes.
  • Observe the surface of the water in the can. Chinch bugs will float to the surface, indicating that they are the source of your lawn problem.

If you are unsure about the status of your lawn or would like to take preventive measures, consider contacting a professional lawn care service. Proper lawn maintenance, such as utilizing the best thatch control, mowing techniques, and appropriate fertilization, can help keep chinch bugs and other pests away from your lawn.

Preventing Chinch Bugs through Proper Lawn Maintenance

Proper lawn maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your turf from chinch bugs. Our team provides this service for homeowners in the Tarrant County area. Utilizing the best thatch-control and mowing techniques, we help your lawn thrive and keep chinch bugs and other pests away. We’ll also put your lawn on an appropriate fertilization schedule, reducing the likelihood of chinch bugs in your turf. Call us at 817-684-4044 if you suspect a chinch bug problem in your lawn.



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