Suspicious looking patches in sunny areas could be due to chinch bugs

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.  

As we approach the end of June and the weather turns warm and sunny, watch for chinch bugs in dry, sunny areas of your lawn. The turf will start to turn yellow and brown, looking very similar to drought stress. Check these areas for chinch bugs by getting down on your hands and knees on a sunny afternoon and part the turf down to the soil line. If you have chinch bugs you will see some tiny black bugs scurrying for cover. The best way to prevent chinch bug problems is with frequent watering. This works so well, that lawns with an irrigation system usually don’t have chinch bugs. If you find chinch bugs in poor-looking areas of your lawn, you can spot spray with Merit, Tempo, Talstar, Arena or Allectus to prevent more damage, which is very likely to get worse in July. Homeowners can use Sevin, Dylox, or Multi-Insect Killer (containing Cyfluthrin).  

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