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Chinch Bugs

(Blissus insularis)

Appearance

Chinch bugs have black bodies with silvery wings covering most of the back. The pattern of the wings and their overlap across the back gives them an hourglass or crossed-arms pattern. Juvenile chinch bugs progress from red to brown before finally becoming winged adults.

Size

Range from 1/8 to 1/6-inch in length.

Behavior

Female chinch bugs deposit over 250 eggs on average in their lifetime. They lay their eggs on grass close to where the plant contacts the soil. During the summer months the eggs hatch between 6 to 13 days, with an average period of 11 days. This process can last a month or more during the winter months. The eggs are small and oval shaped, with a blunt end from which four small projections extend.

Habitat

Chinch bugs like hot, dry, sunny lawns. They cause extensive damage quickly, especially to St. Augustine grass. Lawns suffering from chinch bug infestation have large patches of irregular, yellowish, stunted, wilted grass. Chinch bugs suck the sap from grass blades, at the same time injuring the grass, causing it to wither and die (leaving brown areas of turf).

Interesting Facts

To check for chinch bugs, push a bottomless can into the ground near the edge of a dead patch of lawn and fill it with water. If chinch bugs are present, they will usually float to the surface within a few minutes.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your yard? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty lawn care treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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