More chinch bug help & questions!

japessebasSeptember 7, 2006

I'm competely new to this so I'm looking for as much info as possible. (preferably in plain English?!?)

This a new lawn, St Augustine grass in St Augustine FL. After a few weeks I started seeing brown dead spots appear, I thought it was a lack of water so I had the sprinklers going extra. As it kept getting worse I did more research and have found it is Chinch Bugs.

This is were my questions come in, I have sprinkled chinch bug granules (from Home Depot) all over but how long do I wait afterwards? Are the affected areas completed dead or could they grow back? If it is dead is there a certain type of St Augustine anyone can recommend to replace it with?

It may be worth mentioning that I have seen the same symptoms on a few neighbours lawns so chinch bugs seem to be a problem here.

Would you recommend a liquid control over a bag of granules, if so which one?

I am concerned about the waiting part because these dead spots seem to be spreading fast.

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Dear Japessebas,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. Your symptoms do sound like chinch bugs. The can be notorious on St. Augustinegrass. Left unchecked they can destroy a whole lawn. You must treat with an insecticide, perhaps several times a season if symptoms warrant. I like to go with a liquid primarily because the insecticide must get into the layer between the soil and the grass (thatch). While you must help the liquid along by supplemental irrigation (you have to do this with a granular application for sure), you can get an ample dose of water through your hose if you have this form of an applicator. Either way, the insecticide must be watered into the turf to get to the bugs.

You can use a plethora of products, anything containing the chemicals permethrin or the lamda-cyhalothrin will be fine. Follow the label directions. You do not have to treat the whole lawn every time you see a problem. Just spot treat the affected area, plus a six foot border around.

Dead areas will need to be resodded and there are varieties that are more resistant to chinchbugs than others. There availability may or may not be there and they will cost more, bank on that. Look for ones named FX 10, Floratam and Floralawn if you can.

Finally, so the things to your lawn that will discourage the chinch bug. Mow on a regular basis at 3-4 inches (do not let you lawn get higher than 5.5 inches), do not over fertilize and check the lawn for excessive thatch as this is their favorite home. Both over-watering and over fertilizing contribute to thatch.

Again, thanks for the question and let me know if you have more. Make sure and water in the granular insecticide if you have not already.


Trey Rogers
The Yard Doctor

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 5:34AM
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Thanks for the help.
I am unsure of the thatching part. Am I correct in saying the thatch is the "matted" brown grass underneath the green blades, and in my case the "matted" dead area.
Could you tell me what to do with the thatch, should this be taken out or just pulled away from the ground a little.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 8:02AM
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YOu are right about the thatch. It will decompose by itself if you do nothing, but if you wnat to resod the area, you should remove it to prepare the ground.

Trey Rogers

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 6:10AM
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Please help me do the right thing. I have weeds and chinch bugs all over my yard and I didn't know that the dead area was caused by chinch bugs, so now I have to replace 9 pallets of sod and I want to know if after replacing the sod will the chinch bugs get it againg? Let me know if I have to do something before I put down the sod and not get the same problem again.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 9:10PM
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We need to know how to replace the sod. Do we remove all the existing growth before putting in the plugs? Will be grateful for specific directions....

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 8:24AM
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Im in central Florida and have chinch bugs in my St Augastine grass. It is being destroyed quite rapidly. Used granuals containing lamda-cyhalothrin without success. Any suggestions on what to do next.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 12:04PM
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I want to know if chinch bug granules are harmful to my laying hens? We have a bad flea problem from our chicken coop to our yard. My son applied the chinch bug granules in and around the coop and yard then watered. The hens seem fine I don't think they ate it as it was watered right away and they were moved to another area while this was being done. But I don't know if we should dispose of the eggs just in case. If so for how long? Please help I tried to get a phone numkber from the company Sunniland Corp location, PO Box 8001, Sandford, Fl 32772-8001 Sincerly, R. Cahoon

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 4:02PM
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