Chinch bugs beginning to “cook” spots in home lawns

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Chinch bug larvae have been feeding and growing in June and early July. Now they are large enough to cause visible turf injury. Look for large brown patches in the driest parts of your lawn. Get on your knees to examine the ground around the base of turf plants on the edge of these brown spots. Chinch bugs are most active in warm, sunny afternoons.

If you can find more than 20 bugs in two minutes (sometimes it only take about 10 seconds), the chinch bugs are the most likely cause of your problem Spot spray brown patches and an additional 10 to 20 feet around the brown patches with Dylox (trichlorfon), Sevin (carbaryl) or Merit (imidacloprid). Also, make sure the turf gets plenty of irrigation. Well-irrigated lawns rarely have a problem with chinch bugs.

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