What Do I Do About Chinch Bugs In My Lawn In Missouri City?
Chinch Bug on a green leaf.

What Do I Do About Chinch Bugs In My Lawn In Missouri City?

First things first, what is a chinch bug? If you've heard of these pests and you are aware that they can damage your lawn but don't actually know what a chinch bug is, you'll have a hard time dealing with your pest problem. Entomologists place chinch bugs into the family Hemiptera and refer to them as true bugs. Now, a true bug, as defined by an entomologist, is not likely what you would call a bug. You probably do, as most people do, clump insects, centipedes, millipedes, arachnids, ticks, and every other crawling insect into this category – and rightly so – all of these creeping pests "bug" you. We prefer this definition because it is how most people define bugs. There is no sense in making things confusing. But, understanding the entomological use of the word "bug" can help you better understand chinch bugs and other Hemiptera bugs.

A Hemiptera bug has sucking mouthparts. Some other common Hemiptera bugs with this unique mouth are aphids, stink bugs, assassin bugs, cicadas, and bed bugs. Yes, bed bugs! Of course, chinch bugs have far more in common with aphids than bed bugs. A chinch bug isn't going to bite you and suck your blood. It feeds on sap from leaves and stems, particularly in turfgrass. But, just like a bed bug, chinch bugs are annoyingly persistent, and they are going to continue to grow a population until you take steps to stop them.

Join us today as we dig into a few essential facts you need to know about chinch bugs and pest control related to these insects. We'll cover how to tell if you have chinch bugs in your lawn, what impact these bugs have on your turfgrass, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent future issues. If you need immediate assistance with chinch bugs, contact Modern Pest Control for lawn pest control in Missouri City. Our helpful pest control specialists will be happy to assist you.

How Do I Know If My Lawn Has Chinch Bugs?

What you'll quickly notice about chinch bugs is that they damage your grass. When they stick their mouthparts into your grass, they introduce a salivary toxin that causes your grass to turn yellow and, eventually, brown. But there are other ways you can have yellow or brown grass in your yard. The most common is drought stress, which is commonly mistaken for chinch bug damage because these pests prefer to feed on grass in sunny areas of lawns, where drought stress is usually found first. There are also other potential issues, such as diseases, fungi, and other pests, that can cause this discoloration. Let's look at how to test for chinch bugs.

The Coffee Can Technique: Do you drink coffee? Do you buy coffee in a tin can? Do you have a can that is going out to the trash? If so, you have the perfect tool to check for chinch bugs in your yard. You can use that coffee can to create a simple sampling device. Cut the bottom and top off the can to create a metal tube. Insert the tube into the ground at least two inches below the surface. Fill the inserted can with water. If you have chinch bugs, they'll come to the surface of the water. Be patient, as this can take more than five minutes. Performing this test may bring more than chinch bugs to the surface. There is one common pest that is mistaken for chinch bugs during tests like this. It is called a big-eyed bug. You should have little trouble telling the two insects apart if you take a quick look at images on the internet, but as a general identification tip, we say to simply look for those big eyes. You're not going to see big eyes on a chinch bug. It has a small head and tiny eyes. If you have big-eyed bugs, have no fear. Those are beneficial insects. You actually want them in your yard. They are a form of bioremediation. They feed on several kinds of insects that damage your lawn.

The Soapy Water Technique: If you don't have a coffee can, you can use an alternate sampling technique. Create a mixture of ¼ cup of lemon-scented dish detergent and two gallons of water. Pour your mixture on the ground in a concentrated one square yard of grass. Wait and watch. The chinch bugs will crawl to the surface, and you should have an opportunity to see them. Keep in mind that you'll have other insects come to the surface as well. Once again, proper identification is helpful. A chinch bug is generally oval. It has five instars (development stages) as it grows from nymph to adult. In the first two stages, chinch bugs are reddish insects with a pale coloration in the center. Past this early stage, chinch bugs grow into black and white insects or black and orange insects, depending on the species. If you have black and orange insects, you may mistake them for boxelder bugs, but keep in mind that chinch bugs are smaller. A chinch bug is only about 3/16 of an inch long. A boxelder bug is ½ an inch long. That is quite a difference in size, but you won't see this size difference as you look at photos of insects on the internet.

If you detect chinch bugs, the next step is to evaluate your issue. Seeing chinch bugs doesn't necessarily mean you have an infestation in need of treatment. Entomologists recommend counting the number of insects in a square-foot area of turf. If you're detecting more than 20, control methods are needed. If you find less (or none), preventative maintenance is recommended. At the end of this article, we will discuss how you can apply maintenance to deter (or reduce) chinch bugs. For lawn pest control in Missouri City, contact Modern Pest Control.

Can Grass Recover From Chinch Bugs?

When chinch bugs take over for a while, they can do a lot of damage. If you caught chinch bug lawn damage late, you may wonder if your lawn will ever recover. Or you may wonder if you're going to continue to have trouble with chinch bugs now that they've found your yard. In both cases, we're happy to say that you can put this pest control issue behind you and return to having a healthy lawn that is free of these pests. Your lawn pest control service provider can address the insect problem, and a lawn care professional can nurse your lawn back to health if you don't have the skills to do it. If you don't mind rolling your sleeves up, we'll provide the lawn care tips you need to deal with your lawn health care and help you resist future problems with chinch bugs. It takes work, but you can get the job done if you understand the methods required.

How Do I Get Rid Of Chinch Bugs In My Lawn?

When you find a small presence of chinch bugs, you may drive them back by applying general lawn maintenance. One of the key factors you'll need to address is thatch. If you're not familiar, thatch is the dead grass and other organic materials that sit on the soil underneath your turfgrass. When you part your grass blades, you'll see the tan-colored thatch rather than the soil. One way to deal with thatch is to get out a rake and scrape it out. If more is required, you may need to get a machine to remove the thatch or hire a professional for dethatching. Removing thatch will get rid of an ideal hiding place for chinch bugs and other lawn pests.

Once you've removed the thatch, set a goal to make your lawn healthy. A healthy lawn is resistant to chinch bugs. A few lawn care practices to consider are the following:

  • Water your lawn. It is essential to hydrate your grass so that it is strong and healthy. When working to deter lawn pests, water deeply and infrequently, rather than shallow frequent watering. You want to give the soil a good drink and avoid keeping the grass damp, which can give rise to many other lawn care woes.
  • Apply fertilizer to your lawn. Do a soil test, select an appropriate fertilizer, and apply it during the right times of the year to give your lawn the food it needs to resist attacks from pests, diseases, and fungi.
  • Mow your lawn at the correct height to resist chinch bugs. A common recommendation is about three inches. The reasoning is that taller grass blades provide shade and reduce drought stress. But don't mow too high because chinch bugs like shady environments.
  • Consider planting turfgrass that is resistant to chinch bugs. Experts suggest planting perennial ryegrasses and tall fescues with endophytes.

These maintenance steps may address your chinch bug control issue and help you take back your lawn. If control materials are needed, contact a licensed pest control service provider. For chinch bugs in Missouri City, contact Modern Pest Control. We use the most trusted materials for controlling bugs on and inside your property. We also use scientific methods of application and best practices established by industry experts for appropriate applications. The methods we use will not only yield the best results but also guard your family and pets as we work to solve your chinch bug pest control issue.

How Do I Prevent Future Chinch Bug Problems?

Once the chinch bugs are gone, what comes next? How do you keep your yard free of these and other pests? The best solution is to get ongoing pest control for your property. Chinch bugs are only one of many insects that can present problems in your yard. Ants can enter your yard by the millions and can start to cause trouble in your landscape vegetation and inside your kitchen and pantry. Mosquitoes can bite you while you're relaxing in your yard. Flies buzz around your trash and find their way into your home. Along with insects, you'll also deal with other "bugs" around and inside your home, like spiders, ticks, centipedes, and more. Sure, they're not true bugs, but they can definitely bug you. And, of course, there are the unique bugs that damage your lawn. Chinch bugs don't have an exclusive role in creating frustrating lawn care issues. You can have armyworms crawl across your yard and eat your lawn from the top down. You can have beetles lay eggs in your yard, and their babies (called grubs) will damage your turfgrass from the roots. The best solution for all of the pests that enter your yard is to get ongoing pest control care. For help selecting the right services for your Missouri City home, contact Modern Pest Control. We don't just take care of chinch bug control. 

At Modern Pest Control, we have a wide selection of pest control services you can have bundled together in your home pest control service plan. We also offer three pest packages to help you get started. Ask us about Modern Plus, Signature, and Signature Plus pest control. These packages come with quarterly pest maintenance that gives you complete coverage for your property all year long. Modern Plus provides general coverage for a long list of pests. Signature adds protection against subterranean termite damage, and Signature Plus includes seasonal mosquito control.

Are you frustrated with chinch bugs? Let your frustration become your inspiration! Let chinch bugs be the motivation to contact Modern Pest Control and get the pest control services you've always needed. Life is so much nicer without pests invading your space and damaging your lawn. We are your local home pest control experts, servicing Missouri City and the surrounding region. We're here to help you find the perfect solution for your pest control needs. Navigate to our contact page and take a few moments to fill out the short form. Tell us about your pest issue or pest concerns. We can provide information about the services we provide, what these services cost, and which services may work for you, all for the comfort of your own home. We look forward to hearing from you!

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