Brown Patches on Your Lawn? The Culprit is the Chinch Bug

Chinch bugs are very common lawn pests that have the ability to cause serious damage to your lush lawn if left untreated. They tend to hide away in the “thatch” layer of the lawn, where they enjoy all the nutrients of your grass by piercing the little swords with their mouth and sucking out the grass’ juices, the ones you worked so hard to maintain and keep healthy.

Think of them like an herbivorous mosquito, and instead of irritating your skin, they leave a big, ugly, brown patch on the lawn you swore would stay green this summer!

Generally, evidence of chinch bug infestations only appears in the hotter months of July and August. These areas are dead, brown, irregular, and have sunken lower than the rest of the yard. Look for active chinch bugs at the line where the damaged turf meets the healthy turf.

Thankfully, there are a couple things you can do to treat these patches and get your green lawn back.

Water Your Lawn

This pest thrives in hot, dry conditions where it not only survives but thrives. You can slow down their conquest by watering your lawn extra well. Although adults might survive the water, little nymphs are damaged by large water drops and reproduction slows.

Use Chinch-Resistant Grasses

You can over-seed the areas that have previously been damaged by the bugs with perennial ryegrasses, fine fescues, tall fescues, and basically any grasses that contain entophytic fungi. Endophytic grasses discourage chinch bug feeding.

Recovery From Damage

You can expect a full recovery from slightly damaged grass that you fertilize lightly and water very well. However, heavily infested sites may never fully recover due to the toxicity of the chinch bug, and you’ll most likely have to reseed the area.

Remember, most of the time, the damage caused by these little culprits are mistaken for weather-related stress and thus is not treated appropriately. It is crucial to identify, eliminate, and treat these infestations as soon as possible! Or else, your lawn repair costs might turn much more expensive come next season.

If you are looking for an experienced, established landscaper to come out and investigate your lawn, please call us at 512-298-1902 or visit our Scheduling tab to set an appointment.

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