Chinch Bugs Have Arrived. The chinch bug is a major insect pest on lawns. The chinch bug inserts a straw-like tube into turfgrass plant tissue and sucks out juices, stressing the plant. Damaged areas first appear as small, irregular patches that spread. There are usually two generations per year, with a partial third generation in unusually warm summers. There can be an overlap of generations, so all stages can be found at any time during the summer.
How do I know if I have chinch bugs? Remove both ends of a large tin can, such as a coffee can. Insert one end of the can into the ground at the very edge of the damage so what is visible in the can is half damaged and half not. Press the can two inches into the soil, leaving about least four inches above the ground. Fill the can with water and wait about five minutes. If chinch bugs are present, they will float to the surface of the water. If you have chinch bugs, apply Organic Insect Control or Grub and Insect Control. If a population is unusually heavy, apply again in 25 – 28 days.
Avoid Fertilizer Burn
Do not apply traditional fertilizer if the temperature is 85° or above. Do not apply if your lawn is suffering from drought, insect damage or fungus. Under these conditions, the fertilizer will “burn” or dehydrate your lawn. At this time of year, we recommend Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil. This organic soil food will feed the soil microbes. These microbes will break down and release nutrients and minerals in the soil that grass plants use for energy and growth. Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil also helps to reduce soil compaction.