Dealing with Chinch Bugs

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated March 24, 2021)

Chinch bugs are small little silver black insects that love to eat and destroy lawns, particularly lawns that are made from St. Augustine grasses. Dealing with chinch bugs can often be a frustrating task since they not only destroy your beautiful lawn, but they also take a lot of work to really get rid of them. Not only does it take a lot of work to get rid of them, but you still need to keep an eye out to ensure that you really have gotten rid of them. While it may take a lot of work and time on your part to deal with chinch bugs properly, the effort will be well worth it when you save your beautiful lawn from being damaged beyond repair.

  • Identify the problem. Begin dealing with chinch bugs by first identifying that you actually have them. Chinch bugs simply love warmer areas, and so this means that they will typically hang around areas that are warmer than others. This means places that are near to patios, driveways, sidewalks, and so on are going to be prime locations for them to live in. Chinch bugs also tend to announce their presence by turning the grass brown. So if you find any brown spots on your lawn that are near patios or driveways, then take a close look to see if you can find the bugs.
  • Choose a control method. There are several methods that you can use to deal with chinch bugs. The quickest, though not necessarily best, method is to use a chemical pesticide. The ideal chemical pesticide for dealing with chinch bugs will contain a chemical called bifenthrin that makes up about .02% of its content. This chemical pesticide will remove the bugs, and help prevent any recurrence. Another great method, and one that doesn't potentially damage nearby plants and animals, is to use a little bit of olive oil and dish detergent to get rid of them. The mixture is made from two cups of water, two small squirts of liquid dish soap, and two teaspoons of olive oil mixed together in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the afflicted area, and watch the results. The olive oil contains some sulfur, which adult chinch bugs really don't like, and the soap can kill the young chinch bugs. Between the two you can get rid of adult bugs, while also killing off the younger bugs.
  • Apply the method. Spray your chosen method liberally over the afflicted areas, as well as a little beyond. If you are using chemical pesticides, be sure that you are closely following the directions that come with it. Otherwise, you may find yourself creating a larger problem than you intended.
  • Keep an eye out. After dealing with any current chinch bug infestations, keep an eye out. Just because you have gotten rid of them once, doesn't mean that you will never see them again. Examine any brown spots that crop up in your lawn carefully to see if you see the bugs, and then deal with them right away before they become a large problem. Remember that it is easier to deal with bugs like this when they are younger, than when they get older and start to reproduce.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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