chinch bug prevention?

treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)March 28, 2007

It's not hot enough for them yet, but I lost a good portion of my back yard lawn to chinch bugs a couple of summers ago. It turned out okay because I made flower beds out of all the dead grass areas and now the remaining lawn is shaded at least part of the day.

My front yard is still entirely St.Aug grass and mostly in the sun. Eventually, I'd like to have some sunny beds in the front, too. But until there a non-chemical way to prevent a chinch bug invasion?

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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

I found this article on them which gives some good advice, some I'm not too sure about but I guess the severity of the problem may dictate the severity of the solution.

One thing I found interesting was that an easy preventative would be to plant clover. I didn't realize clover eliminated lawn pests. Hmmm...I'll need to research more about that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Control of Chinch Bugs Without Pesticides

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:44AM
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treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)

Thanks, greenjeans...interesting site. Sounds like I'm doing the right things, except for not having a variety of grasses.

I wonder if it would be hard to get clover started in established St.Augustine turf. I always liked the look of clover in a lawn. Maybe there's still time to overseed and get some started before the heat hits.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 6:00PM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

I'm also going to be planting clover soon, but I was going to aerate first to create some holes for it to take. I think it'll probable help with keeping it even across the lawn as opposed to only growing in some problem areas where my turf is thin. Clover does tend to "bunch" in areas where the turf's thin as opposed to spreading itself out. I was hoping to avoid the patches.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 4:34PM
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I'm pretty sure that beneficial nematodes will take care of Chinch Bugs.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 4:44PM
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treelover(z8b SoCtrlTX)

Well...dh has vetoed the idea of introducing clover into our lawn. I'm going to have him read your other, more recent post about it, greenjeans. Maybe it will convince him. He thinks the clover will take over completely. It's not that invasive, is it?

I'll keep nematodes in mind if there's an invasion, tiddyt. I did some reading yesterday and it seems that they have to be mixed in with compost (or some such thing) and swept down into the turf, without watering the nematodes into the soil. The idea being that they must be at the surface of the soil where the bugs are in order to be effective. Sounds like a lot of work! I may just let the little buggers kill what lawn they want to, then turn those areas into flower/veggie beds. I'd rather plant & weed than mow, any day!

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 8:40AM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

That's funny that you mention that. I actually found that article on clover at a website called:

They've got a lot of really good stuff on there about narrowing down maintenance and lawn area. I tried to post a link on here but it wouldn't let me. Wierd.

On nematodes, I couldn't find a nematode that was effective against chinch bugs and it makes sense because they're not "in" the soil. Beneficial nematodes are more effective against soil dwelling pests.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 12:25PM
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