Southern chinch bug adults are small, less than 1/5 inch (0.5
cm) long, and black with mostly white wings folded flat over the
body. Both long- and short-winged forms may be present. Nymphs are
bright red but turn black as they mature. Dont confuse southern
chinch bug with the beneficial bigeyed
Primarily St. Augustinegrass
Damage appears as irregular patches of lawn that turn yellow and
then brown. The turfgrass begins to die during hot weather.
Inspect around grass stems and crowns for reddish, purple, black,
or gray bugs up to 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) long. Perform a drench
test to move insects to the soil surface.
Reduce thatch and follow recommended
irrigation practices. Applying nitrogen at the lowest
rate possible for your turf species and environmental conditions
can slow chinch bug reproduction. Consider planting resistant varieties
of St. Augustinegrass or other turf species. If more than 135 bugs
are found per square yard or more than 15 nymphs and adults per
square foot, you may need to treat with an insecticide.
For more information on lawn insects, refer to:
Pest Notes: Lawn Insects