How to Get Rid of Chinch Bugs in the House or Lawn Naturally

If you observe that your lawn is looking pale, like it's diseased, or it appears dull, Chinch Bugs may be sucking the life out of it.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 25, 2023
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If you observe that your lawn is looking pale, like it’s diseased, or it appears dull, Chinch Bugs may be sucking the life out of it. Chinch bugs can cause your turf to turn brown and die. After they’ve extracted the nutrition from your grass with sucking and piercing mouthparts, they’ll leave your grass lifeless. If you care about keeping your grass and lawn healthy, you need to learn how to get rid of chinch bugs.

Getting rid of these pesky pests can be tough, but it’s not impossible. In this article, you’ll be exposed to the proper identification of these little critters and how to get rid of false chinch bugs. Methods on how to get rid of chinch bugs naturally will also be highlighted.

What are Chinch Bugs?

Chinch bugs are common in different parts of the United States. St. Augustine lawns and zoysia grasses are usually their primary targets. These pesky bugs are super small. When fully grown, their bodies don’t get up to ¼-inch long. The white dot they have on their back, coupled with their white wings, make them obvious. There’s usually a white band across the abdomen of the nymphs, and these nymphs are brightly red-colored.

One trait the nymphs and the adults have in common is their strong odour. Whenever you crush them, especially when they’re plenty, they can give off an unpleasant odor. Chinch bugs usually attack and infest in numbers. In a square foot of a lawn, you can find at least 10 to 15 bugs.

However, one mistake you shouldn’t make is to judge them by their small bodies. These chinch bugs thrive on extreme drought and heat to multiply massively. Conditions like these give them the ground to lay more than 100 bugs per square foot of lawn.

What do Chinch Bugs Look Like? 

How to Get Rid of Chinch Bugs in the House or Lawn Naturally

The first critical step toward the treatment of chinch bugs is to be able to identify them properly. The proper identification helps to ensure that your money and time aren’t wasted. It helps to ensure the application of the right products and methods. One primary thing you should know about chinch bugs is that they go through distinct growth stages, and they have a unique look during each stage.

Speaking of the adults, they have a hard body. They are oval-shaped and are roughly a quarter of an inch long. Their tiny legs are colored in feeble orange-brown. There is a small triangle shape you’ll notice on their wings. These wings are colored in white and black.

Chinch bugs usually consume the grass blade after they’ve climbed up onto it. But they’ll manipulate the grass in that area to keep themselves out of sight.

Chinch bugs give turfs slow death during their feeding process because they release poison while they pierce and suck nutrients out of the healthy grass blades.

Types of Chinch Bugs

There are four different types of chinch bugs, and they’re prevalent in North America. They include:

  • Blissus Occiduus Barber commonly referred to as the Western Chinch Bug.
  • Blissus Insularis Barber, commonly referred to as the Southern Chinch Bug.
  • Blissus Leucopterus Hirtus Montandon, commonly referred to as the Hairy Chinch Bug.
  • Blissus Leucopterus Leucopterus Say, commonly referred to as the Common Chinch Bug.

The hairy chinch bug ranks first as the most common among its peers in North America, and the chinch bug follows suit as the second. In Georgia, Texas, Virginia, and South Dakota in U.S, the Common Chinch Bug is indeed quite common. They’re also notoriously present in Southern Canada and the Northeastern United States. The Hairy Chinch Bug can also be found in these places.

The Western and Southern regions of the United States are primary homes to the Western Chinch Bug and Southern Chinch Bug, respectively.  This makes it unsurprising that Floridians are always looking for how to get rid of chinch bugs. And even so, Canadians without the knowledge of how to get rid of chinch bugs in Canada tend to suffer from the devastation caused by these bugs.

How to Get Rid of Chinch Bugs 

As soon as you confirm that it’s chinch bugs you’re dealing with, it’s time to get active to eliminate them. And speaking of elimination, there are different methods you can employ for effective treatment.

Method 1: Use Broad-Spectrum Pesticides 

How to Get Rid of Chinch Bugs in the House or Lawn Naturally

Chinch bugs can be eliminated by different kinds of granular and liquid insecticides. You’ll need a lightly watered conventional fertilizer spreader to activate and spray granular insecticides.

Granular insecticides are excellent for homeowners looking to get rid of chinch bugs on their lawns, especially the large ones. Experts recommend the Scotts DiseaseEx Lawn Fungicide as an effective broad-spectrum pesticide for homeowners.

If you don’t fancy granular insecticides, you can also try out liquid sprays. An effective spray like the BAYER CROP SCIENCE 700280B Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf will be excellent. To make its application more far-reaching, you should use it with a hose-end sprayer. You can ensure your coverage is uniform when you spray the same area back and forth. Most homeowners love to apply water to the grass before they apply their pesticide to aid better penetration. But, this isn’t advisable.

Nevertheless, you should also note that applying chemicals like insecticides may require a two-time application. This is usually spaced for weeks to kill any other bugs that may be emerging days later after the first application. Chinch bugs can also be controlled by pyrethroid insecticides like permethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin, or bifenthrin. The Ortho Bug B Gon Max Insect Killer for Lawns is a worthwhile example.

Method 2: Isolate Areas and do Spot Treatments 

Spot treatments are effective in treating lawns, especially isolated sections. You should go for this method if you’re certain it’s a part of your lawn that is infected. But even so, look for other possible close-by-infected areas. Treat these areas alongside the discolored turf too. Be sure to confirm that you have this infestation well-managed. Every three to five days, check the area. And do this for a minimum of two weeks.

The beautiful thing about spot treatments is that they help to ensure the beneficial insects living on your lawn aren’t killed.

They also prevent your environment from getting contaminated. Speaking of environmental contamination, you may check out our carefully reviewed list of best bug zappers to get rid of insects safely in your home.

Method 3: Try Diatomaceous Earth 

Individuals looking to get rid of bugs in the house should go for this chemical-free alternative. This method is more suitable for individuals who love eco-friendliness. All you have to do is to get diatomaceous earth to dust your lawn.

How to Get Rid of Chinch Bugs in the House or Lawn Naturally

This diatomaceous earth can be eco-friendly, but they’re no friends to these bugs. Immediately they come in contact with it, and their bodies will be pierced thanks to the razor-sharp microscopic particles. This powdery and soft diatomaceous earth may also not kill immediately. In some cases, it can make any bug that comes in contact with it suffer dehydration. And in just a few days, they’ll die.

Method 4: Natural Methods 

Diatomaceous earth is undoubtedly an eco-friendly option, but there are a series of other natural methods you can use to eliminate chinch bugs. Here are some of them:

  • Maintain the water on your lawn. Watering your lawn correctly is essential. Make sure there’s not too much water, and there’s not too less water. You’ll be given the eggs and nymphs the condition to thrive if your soil is too dry, especially during dry, hot conditions. Your lawn can also be accumulated with thatch if you overwater.
  • Don’t do too much fertilizing. Just as it’s not advised to over-water, ensure you don’t over-fertilize your lawn too. The reason is that this naturally facilitates weeds and thatch. And it will draw chinch bugs to your lawn. So, do well to cut back on fertilizing if you’re controlling chinch bugs.
  • Beneficial insects. This is a common method to get rid of chinch bugs and grubs. Introducing beneficial insects to your lawn can massively reduce the chinch bugs in your home. These insects will not only eat chinch bugs, they’ll also eat other pesky pests that are not out of their diets. Ladybugs are examples of these beneficial insects that can get rid of other bad bugs. These ladybugs are quite appealing, and they cause no harm. Lacewings and big-eyed bugs are other options you can release on your lawn.
  • Insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soaps are effective in eliminating chinch bugs. You’ll find different kinds available on the market. Once you get one, look for the affected areas and spray it on them. This method is a great option for individuals seeking how to get rid of chinch bugs in st Augustine grass safely. With an insecticidal soap, no harm will come near your plants. It’s non-toxic. If you cannot buy one on the market, you can make one yourself. Get a gallon of water and mix it with two tablespoons of dish soap. And voilà, your liquid solution is available.
  • Natural predators. Beneficial insects aren’t the only predators that can kill chinch bugs. There are a host of other natural predators you can bring in, including wasps ants, earwigs, and beetles. Certain birds can also prove useful for this cause. And they can help to get rid of false chinch bugs too.

Final Thoughts

There’s no word mincing that these pesky little bugs can be a real nuisance. Looking at how quickly they can multiply and cause massive damage, it’s important to eliminate them. The health status of your lawn, yard, or garden depends on how you can control these bugs; especially if you live in a place like North America where they’re prevalent, it’s vital that you know how to get rid of chinch bugs.

There are several methods you can explore for this purpose, and they’ve all been detailed. It’s up to you to look at these options and see what works best for you. Once you’re done getting rid of these pests, make sure you help your lawn regain its cheerful, green life

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