There are few problems quite like a chinch bug infestation. A chinch bug infestation can significantly damage your lawn in as little as one week! So, what can you do about these insects?
Lake Worth residents try many things to stop them, but most often, they attack the symptom of a chinch bug infestation, not the source. What do we mean? They spray the bugs they see and eliminate them. You can do this with a bottle of soapy water. Unfortunately, soapy water and other sprays are topical. They don't get down into the thatch layer to stop these pests, and they don't address the eggs that will hatch into the next wave of chinch bugs. Do you see the problem?
So, what works? That is our subject today. We're going to walk you through how you can identify chinch bugs, tell you what it means when you find chinch bugs in your yard, and offer up some tips to help you prevent a chinch bug problem at the source. We'll also tell you what you can do if chinch bugs are getting into your home. If you'd like to speak with someone about your bug problem, remember that you can give us a call or jump to our contact page at any time. We offer lawn care, ornamental care, and chinch bug pest control in Lake Worth. We have the experience and know-how to give you a comprehensive solution. With that said, let's take a look at how you can tackle chinch bug problems.
How To Identify A Chinch Bug
Step one in addressing any pest problem is to identify the pest that is causing the problem. Proper identification is essential because different pests require different pest control measures. In the case of chinch bugs, identification is not only helpful for controlling them but also for understanding how they can cause trouble.
What do chinch bugs look like? What you're looking for are tiny, six-legged insects that are shaped somewhat like adult chinch bugs but are a different color. Chinch bugs come in three states of maturity: younger nymphs, older nymphs, and adults.
- Young Nymphs: In the nymphal stage, a chinch bug is orange or red and not nearly as long as an adult, giving it more of a pill shape. It is also wingless.
- Older Nymphs: As nymphs grow toward their adult stage, they turn black and start to develop wings so they may look like black box elder bugs with short tan wings.
- Adults: In the adult stage, a chinch bug is an elongated oval shape and has white coloration in the center with black around the edges. The head and thorax are entirely black. It has two antennae, six legs, three body parts, and fully developed wings.
It can be hard to identify a chinch bug because a chinch bug doesn't always look like a chinch bug. Wait, what? We don't want to confuse you; we simply want you to carefully consider the fact that chinch bug identification is rarely straightforward. Why? Because baby chinch bugs don't look like adult chinch bugs.
Seeing a young chinch bug may throw you off. Luckily, you don't have to worry about chinch bug larvae. Chinch bugs begin as nymphs; they don't have a larval stage, so you don't have to look for grubs, worms, caterpillars, or maggots and wonder if they're going to develop into chinch bugs. That helps.
Beyond seeing them with your own eyes, you may also tell that you have chinch bugs by considering the damage to your lawn. Chinch bugs tend to damage lawns near areas where heat radiates out, such as the driveway, walkway, or sidewalk. The damage will move from the area of radiated heat and across your lawn. You may also find damage in the center and the sunniest areas of your lawn. The damage resembles drought stress.
We have another insect pest in our area called a false chinch bug. While false chinch bugs can damage turfgrass, they don't hold a candle to true chinch bugs. It is critical to figure out which of these two pests you have in your yard.
What It Means If You're Seeing Chinch Bugs In Your Home
First, it means you have a lawn pest problem. If you want to have fewer issues with chinch bugs in your home, you have to address the infestation in your yard. Second, chinch bugs don't create their own entry points to enter your home. They're not going to tunnel through wood like a carpenter ant, carpenter bee, or powderpost beetle; they get in through gaps and cracks that already exist. What that means is you have entry points that are letting pests into your home.
While chinch bugs are nuisance pests indoors, many Lake Worth pests present a biting, stinging, or disease concern. And the pests that damage the wood in your home often enter through entry points that already exist. They don't typically start out by tunneling a pathway to gain entry. So, it is a good idea to take the time to seal those points of entry. If you can't find them all and chinch bugs continue to come indoors, contact us for assistance. The Above & Beyond Pest Control service team can guide you toward preventative treatments and sustained pest maintenance that will work to keep all of the common pests in Lake Worth out of your home.
Tips To Prevent Chinch Bugs In Your Yard
There is no way to completely prevent chinch bugs from entering your yard or damaging your lawn, but you can deter them. The secret has to do with moisture. Chinch bugs are predisposed to attack lawns that have drought stress—that is to say, lawns that are dry. It is one of the ways chinch bug problems sneak up on people. They think that their lawns are turning tan because of a lack of moisture, but when they go to water the lawn, and it doesn't help, they quickly realize something else is going on. Since it can take about a week for chinch bugs to do significant damage, there is no time for error. However, long before chinch bugs start to damage your lawn, you can deter them.
What you need to do is trap moisture in the thatch layer of your lawn. The thatch portion of your lawn is at the base of your turfgrass and just above the soil. You can do this by raising your mower blade one notch and cutting your grass a little taller during the summer months. Allowing your grass to grow taller also helps your grass blades to grow strong and more resistant to pests. Along with letting your grass grow taller, make sure to water your grass routinely. Keep your grass moist enough to remain healthy and resistant to chinch bugs but not so moist that plant diseases take root. It is a delicate balance.
The result of a dry thatch layer is that chinch bug populations can explode. The insects will climb your grass blades, suck the nutrients out, and damage your grass, creating a dead patch as they radiate out and move across your lawn.
Who Do I Contact To Get Rid Of The Chinch Bugs Infesting My Home?
When you have trouble with chinch bugs, it pays to contact a professional that handles lawn care, ornamental plant care, and home pest control. You need the assistance of a service professional who understands the entire problem, not just one aspect of it. Chinch bugs are going to keep coming into your home if the infestation in your lawn isn't addressed. That is where lawn care fits in. Chinch bugs can get into your landscaping and hide. For this zone, ornamental care is handy. When chinch bugs keep getting inside, you need a professional that can apply industry-leading solutions to create a barrier that insects can't penetrate. Pest management professionals use several products and methods to do this job right. They also follow strict protocols to ensure safe application.
If you live in Lake Worth, contact Above & Beyond Pest Control. Our service technicians are licensed, highly trained, and experienced professionals. They are trained in lawn and ornamental care and advanced Integrated Pest Management, the gold standard of pest control. Best of all, we're a family-owned business. We understand common Lake Worth pests because we live here. Just like you, we've been dealing with these pests all our lives. Our service technicians are also up to date on what works best for chinch bug control. We'll make sure your lawn is properly treated.
Give us a call or drop us a line on our contact page to share the details of your problem. We'll tell you your options and set up a service visit. Chinch bugs move quickly, so don't wait to address the chinch bugs in your home or the infestation in your yard.
I would definitely recommend Above and Beyond Pest Control. They were responsive, quick to come out, and honest. Corey came to inspect a possible bed bug issue. Turns out he did not detect any signs of bed bugs which was a huge relief. He was very knowledgeable and gave us possible explanations for the issues we were having and recommendations on what to do. I would call them again in the future.