In this guide, I will be giving you tips on how to get rid of chinch bugs in houses.
Imagine having your beautiful lawn damaged by annoying chinch bugs. That would be a sight for sore eyes.
These destructive pests usually attack your grass during the dry season, and they leave them looking very dry and patchy.
If you want to get rid of them in Canada and other parts of the world, I suggest you keep reading.
What Causes Chinch Bugs?
Chinch bugs are very common across America and there are different species of them. Even though each species has slight differences, they all cause damage to turfgrass.
You can find chinch bugs in lawns that are dry or lack moisture. They have beaks that are shaped like needles and they use it to pierce through the grass and suck out the fluids.
Thanks to their grass-feeding habits, you can find yellow patches of grass across your lawn. Eventually, the grass will turn brownish and die.
The hot summer season is the period when these pests are more likely to attack your grass. The months of June through September is when you can expect them.
Assessing The Bug Problem
To make sure you’re tackling the right problem, make sure you properly assess the situation first.
The damage chinch bugs do to grass is very similar to the damage caused by drought so it’s easy to get confused. Just like drought damage, chinch bug damage can occur when the grass lacks moisture, which is usually during the dry season.
The major difference is that drought damage will leave your grass with an evenly colored brownish look, while chinch bugs will leave your grass with patches of yellowish or brownish colors and some undamaged grass in-between.
You can find chinch bug damage around the edges of your lawn, mainly around the driveways and the building foundation. Any grassy surface that produces heat will attract the chinch bugs.
Besides the discoloration of the grass, another way to be certain you have chinch bugs in your yard is to spot them. This will require you to take a look around your yard and see if you can find any.
In case you don’t know what they look like, chinch bugs have a bright reddish body and a white stripe across. Use this description to identify them.
If looking through the grass isn’t helping, you can simply slide your foot through the grass and see if any chinch bug will climb your shoe. You can also get on your knees and split the grass with your hands to see if you’ll spot any of them near the roots.
If you find one or two, you can go a step further and assess the full degree of the infestation. A simple coffee can will help you achieve this.
Get two coffee cans and cut off the bottom, then shove them 2 inches into the soil around the discolored grass. Fill up the cans with water and wait for a few minutes.
The chinch bugs in that spot will float to the top of the water. If you find that only one chinch bug is afloat, then that can’t be considered an infestation. Finding 2 or 3 suggests a moderate infestation.
However, finding 4 to 5, or more chinch bugs afloat, it means you have a serious chinch bug infestation on your hands.
How To Get Rid Of Chinch Bugs Permanently
You can employ several means with which you can remove chinch from your garden. I will discuss these methods below.
Make Sure Your Soil Has Enough Moisture
Since chinch bugs love to hang around dry soil, one of the first things you need to do to eradicate them is to keep your soil moist, especially during the chinch bug season.
Make it a habit to keep your lawn well-watered during the summer, since this is the period when the chinch bugs are likely to attack.
Another reason why you should water your lawn properly is that the water encourages the growth of. Proper watering encourages the growth of Beauvaria bassiana, which is a fungus that attacks and kills chinch bugs.
Introduce Beneficial Insects
This is one of the best means of eradicating chinch bugs. Using beneficial insects to get rid of them is a cheap and effective method that will not harm the other garden plants or the immediate environment.
Luckily, there are commercially available beneficial insects you can buy. These include ladybugs and lacewings. You can go to a local nursery or search the internet to find a store near you where you one.
Birds are also good for chinch bug disinfestation. A smart way to attract birds to your lawn would be to scatter bird seeds all across the affected areas.
The birds will fly to eat the seeds, and when they find chinch bugs there, they will eat them too. They should consider that a bonus!
These beneficial insects will do the job for you. All you have to do is introduce them into your lawn and wait.
Use Safer Soap
Safer soap is also a viable option for ridding your garden of chinch bugs. This type of soap is ideal for organic use and it works pretty well.
By sinking through the protective outer shell of the chinch bugs, the soap will dehydrate them and they will be dead in a matter of hours.
Visit the spots where the chinch bugs are most active and apply accordingly.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Organic diatomaceous earth is another substance that can get rid of chinch bugs. The good thing with D.E is that it not only kills the chinch bugs, but it also repels others from coming.
Another advantage of using D.E is that it does not contain any toxins, so it is perfect for application on your lawn.
Get a box of D.E and sprinkle the powder across your lawn to kill the chinch bugs.
Lawn Care To Control Chinch Bugs
Before you apply any substances or pesticides on your lawn, there are a few things you can do to give you a better fighting chance against the chinch bugs.
You can mow your lawn down to the recommended maximum height, but do not trim more than a third of the grass height at a time.
Chinch bugs lodge inside the thatch (which is the layer of dead grass clippings built upon the soil surface). To reduce the number of chinch bugs you need to deal with, it is recommended that you remove thatch that has piled up more than 1/2 inches deep.
You can use a thatch rake to do this.
In a case where the thatch isn’t as thick, you can aerate the soil using an aerator or spiked lawn aerating shoes.
After the mild treatment, you can apply some compost or organic manure to improve the soil conditions.
Another recommendation is to use a slow-release fertilizer to improve the strength of your grass. Do not see fertilizers that are high in nitrogen, as this can weaken your grass prone to chinch bug attack.
Treating A Moderate Chinch Bug Infestation
If you’re experiencing a moderate chinch bug infestation, then treating it will be fairly easy. Follow these tips –
Vacuum The Lawn
Using a vacuum to suck them up from the lawn is a straightforward, stress-free solution for this level of infestation.
Before you begin vacuuming, you should thoroughly rake the grass, beginning at two feet away from the edges of the infested areas.
It is advised to use a wet-vac to go over the total area you raked. Water the lawn after you have finished.
Use Mild Soapy Water
For moderate infestations, using mild soapy water can solve the problem. Mix the soap into a bucket of water and shake thoroughly.
The next step would be to sprinkle the soapy water all over your lawn, with more emphasis on the affected areas.
Treating A Major Chinch Bug Infestation
If you have a major chinch bug infestation to deal with, then you would need to employ harsher methods to eradicate them.
Below are a few things you can do to treat a major chinch bug infestation.
Use A High-Grade Pesticide
Since the chinch bugs are many and cannot simply be vacuumed or eaten by predators, you will have to kill them yourself. The best way to do this is with a commercial pesticide.
Keep in mind that your grass will also be in the line of fire, so make sure the pesticide you but is organic and won’t harm your grass or other garden plants.
There are many brands in the market, a pest control store can recommend a suitable brand for you to kill a large number of chinch bugs.
Call The Exterminator
The best way to handle a major infestation is to hire a professional bug extermination service. Simply put, they know exactly what to do!
Follow the tips in this article to get rid of chinch bugs in your lawn.
I trust this article on how to get rid of chinch bugs has been helpful.