It might be a little early to talk about the chinch bug, but they were responsible for a lot of damage last summer. Chinch bugs prefer St. Augustine grass, but will also feast on Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede grass. Chinch bugs like it hot and dry. For this reason much of the damage occurs next to streets, driveways and sidewalks. Grass damaged by chinch bugs remains attached to its roots unlike grub damage. Before you start spraying or spreading you’re insect killer of choice, you need to identify the cause of your problem.
The chinch bug is a surface dwelling creature and it is easily detected. Remove the top and bottom of a steel can. Push it into the soil at the edge of the healthy and damaged grass and then fill it with water. The chinch bug will swim to the top. Then count the bugs. Click here to find out the number of Chinch bugs you don’t want to see.
If you found more chinch bugs than average, it’s time to control them. All-natural products include DE (Diatomaceous Earth) or my favorite, orange oil. On the synthetic side I like Kill-a-Bug (permethrin) and Cyonara spray (lambda-cyhalothrin).