Cinch Bugs: Signs and Prevention
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.
Cinch 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 cinch 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. Cinch 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 cinch bug infestation?
Others confuse the damage caused by cinch 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 cinch bug infestation
If you suspect that cinch bugs are feasting on your turfgrass, you can do the tin can test.
- Cut the bottom of a tin can.
- Sink the tin can into the turf.
- Fill it with water.
- If there are cinch bugs in your lawn, they will float to the surface of the can.
- If you spot at least 20 cinch bugs, you need to take quick action.
Cinch bug control
Removing thatch, mowing your lawn at recommended levels, aerating the lawn, and watering constantly are good methods of preventing cinch 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, https://sodsolutions.com/insect-pest-control/how-to-manage-a-chinch-bug-infestation/
“How to Avoid Chinch Bug Lawn Damage,” Turner Pest Control, https://www.turnerpest.com/chinch-bugs/how-to-avoid-chinch-bug-lawn-damage/
“Cinch Bugs,” Cardinal Lawns, https://www.cardinallawns.com/library/lawn-pests/chinch-bugs/ “The Bug Behind Your Patchy, Brown Grass,” Bob Vila, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/chinch-bug-damage/