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Chinch Bugs

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Once chinch bugs become established, they can rapidly kill your turf.  Even though they prefer some grasses, most any grass can become food for them. chinch_2

Chinch bugs attack turf in a group so their damage is quickly visible.  They eat until all the turf is gone so you must be prepared to battle them quickly.  They damage the turfgrass with their piercing, sucking mouth parts.  They inject a salivary fluid into the crowns and stems and then they suck out the plants fluids.  Their saliva disrupts water conducting vessels in the blade causing it to turn yellow, orange and then brown.  The turf blade becomes brittle as if it were burned by heat or chemical. 

Their favorite grass would have to be St. Augustine, but most any turfgrass can be a target.  You must be able to detect and identify them to stop them.  The biggest mistake someone can make is to assume that the turf is hungry and needs fertilizer, or is thirsty and needs water.  

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The chinch bug is very small and fast so visually spotting them is tough.  They will hide from you before you can find them.  A very easy way to check for Chinch Bugs is with a coffee can. Cut both ends out of the can (empty the coffee out before cutting open the bottom). Sink the can into the edge of the damaged area and fill the can with water. Be sure not to let the can go dry or over flow. Within a few chinch_3minutes you will see small black specs floating on the surface of the water.

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