Chinch Bugs in Eastern Iowa?

So we found Chinch Bugs in your lawn…

For many years chinch bugs have been a pest problem on southern lawns. In recent years they have become common in eastern Iowa communities like Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. We now see them at several properties every year.

Chinch Bug Damage

At first glance, chinch bug damage looks like drought-damaged turf. Chinch bugs have small piercing mouth parts. They begin damaging the turf by sucking moisture out of the plant, then inject a poison into the plant that will eventually kill it. This causes the plant to turn yellow/brown, and this damage spreads rapidly across the lawn. Once it is determined that this is not drought, a close inspection of the turf at the outer edges of the damage may reveal the culprit. Chinch bug damage is most prevalent in the hottest, driest stretch of the summer; usually July and August.

Identification of Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs can be very difficult to find because of their size and color. They are damaging at any stage of life, so it is possible to find them in the same area, but of varying sizes and colors.

Controlling Chinch Bugs

Once a diagnosis of chinch bugs is made, timely control is crucial. Their numbers can be plentiful, and they spread quickly. Chemical control can be achieved, but these products should be handled and applied by licensed professionals. Even with the best products on the market follow up treatments may be necessary.