St. Augustinegrass is the most widely planted turfgrass species in Florida lawns, estimated to cover more than 2 million acres.
The southern chinch bug is the most damaging insect pest of turfgrass in the state. They are a major pest of St. Augustinegrass, and can rapidly cause a lot of damage.
Damaged areas appear as yellow to brown patches and injury typically occurs first in grass that’s water-stressed or in full sun. Chinch bugs are most active when it’s warm, but may cause damage year-round, particularly in South Florida.
It’s important to remember that not all brown grass indicates a chinch bug infestation. If you suspect you have chinch bugs, inspect the border between the brown and green grass for the tiny, black-and-white adults or orange nymphs. If you do have chinch bugs, you’ll need to devise a plan to get rid of them.
Catching southern chinch bug infestation early is the key to saving your lawn. If detected, treat with an appropriate pesticide and always incorporate non-chemical options like reducing thatch and minimizing fertilizer use.
Utilize published UF/IFAS Extension resources and contact your local county Extension office for control measures or consult a pest control professional for help.
- Chinch Bug Resistance Still a Problem--UF/IFAS Extension Orange County
- Chinch Bugs in Florida Lawns--UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
- Featured Creatures: Chinch Bugs
- Effect of Southern Chinch Bug on Weed Establishment in St. Augustinegrass
- Screening Methods for Southern Chinch Bug Resistance in St. Augustinegrass
- Silicon Effects on Resistance of St. Augustinegrass to Southern Chinch Bugs and Plant Disease
- Southern Chinch Bug, Blissus insularis Barber (Insecta: Hemiptera: Blissidae)
- Managing Southern Chinch Bug in Warm Season Turfgrasses