Do you think it’s early to talk about the chinch bugs? Last year they showed up early (first of July) and were responsible for a lot of damage. They prefer St. Augustine grass, but will also feast on Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede grass. Chinch bugs like it hot and dry. That’s why the damage occurs in full sun, 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 your 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 coffee can (3 pounds if you can find one). Push it into the soil at the edge of the healthy and damaged grass and then fill it with water. Since they don’t like water they will swim to the top. If you see them, treat them.
Ok, you found chinch bugs. Now we start to control them. All-natural products include DE (Diatomaceous Earth), Beneficial Nematodes or my favorite, orange oil. On the synthetic side, I like Kill-a-Bug (permethrin) and Cyonara spray (lambda-cyhalothrin). As always read and follow the label directions.