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Chinch Bugs: Signs and Prevention

Cinch Bugs: Signs and Prevention | Landscaping Company in Dallas, TX

Have you noticed huge, brown, dead patches of grass on your lawn? This could be caused by a disease, but may also be the work of pests.

Chinch bugs may be miniscule, but they can do massive damage. They not only suck the grass blades until they are dry, they also inject them with poison. This lawn pest causes irreparable damage to lawns if left untreated.

Getting to know the chinch bug

They are the thugs of your turf grass. They are most active in late June until early September, and their worst activity happens between June until August. Chinch bugs are tiny – only 1/6 of an inch long, so they are hard to spot. However, they can cause visible damage.

Nymphs are red, while adults have black bodies and wings. A female cinch bug can lay over 500 eggs, all of which will eventually grow into insatiable pests. 

What are the signs of a chinch bug infestation?

Others confuse the damage caused by chinch bugs with lawns suffering from drought. The havoc caused by cinch bugs start with yellow patches of turf, then progresses to brown, dead spots if left untreated. What starts as a patch of dead grass quickly progresses into an expanding area of dead grass.

If your grass doesn’t turn green after constant watering and remains dead, it’s highly possible that you have cinch bugs on your lawn.

How to confirm a chinch bug infestation

If you suspect that chinch bugs are feasting on your turfgrass, you can do the tin can test.

  1. Cut the bottom of a tin can.
  2. Sink the tin can into the turf.
  3. Fill it with water.
  4. If there are cinch bugs in your lawn, they will float to the surface of the can.
  5. If you spot at least 20 chinch bugs, you need to take quick action.

Chinch bug control

Removing thatch, mowing your lawn at recommended levels, aerating the lawn, and watering constantly are good methods of preventing chinch bugs. However, if your lawn is already infested, you can try the following remedies:

  • Lacewigs and ladybugs are commercially available and can be an effective biological combat technique.
  • Using natural chemicals or non-toxic application of horticultural soap can help you achieve a degree of control.
  • You can reseed your lawn using an edophyte enhanced grass seed.

Extreme cases may require you to use some turf insecticides, but a word of caution: this might harm the beneficial insects on your lawn.

If you have questions about pest control and management, feel free to get in touch with us at Southern Botanical, your landscaping company in Dallas, TX


“How to Manage a Chinch Bug Infestation,” SodSolutions,

“How to Avoid Chinch Bug Lawn Damage,” Turner Pest Control,

“Cinch Bugs,” Cardinal Lawns, “The Bug Behind Your Patchy, Brown Grass,” Bob Vila,