Gerry's Blog



To reduce damage from chinch bugs- here are some suggestions

A long term strategy- shade the lawns. The judicious use of tree can enhance your enjoyment of your yard and reduce chinch bug damage. Choose trees with filtered shade (such as Honeylocusts) that will still allow grass to grow reasonably well underneath. Trees like maples will eventually make it difficult to grow grass beneath them as their shade is much more intense.
Mow high- longer grass increases the shade on that small portion of the lawn. Again not a cure, but this will tilt things in your favour.
Use perennial ryegrass in mix with Endophytes to reduce damage. Endophytic perennial ryegrass are not a preferred food source of chinch bugs. (Turf King uses Endophytic Perennial Ryes in our overseeding grass seed mixes)
Don't underwater the lawns during hot dry spells. Chinch bugs suck the sap from the grass. Underwatering puts additional stress on the lawn and chinch damage is more likely to be fatal if the lawn is underwatered. Spending some money on water is usually less costly than having to replace the lawn that has all died from chinch damage.
Don't overwater the lawn during the summer. Chinch bugs do prefer lush lawns over sickly dry lawns. Here it is trying to find the right balance of a nice summer lawn without encouraging chinch bugs.
Maintain lawn fertility to reduce stress on the lawn. Turf King uses fertilizers high in potassium. Potassium is an important nutrient to reduce damage to lawns due to the stress of heat, drought and insect damage. Supplemental applications of potassium may also be considered.
Monitor your lawn closely starting in July. Adult chinch bugs overwinter in mulch, near the house and other places where it is a little warmer. They return to the lawns in late May. Eggs are laid and the nymphs hatch and start to feed. Normally by July, they have reached populations large enough to cause damage, Chinch damage is easier to reduce if the problem is caught early.
Often people call in mid-August. They say, "the front lawn hasn't come green after the recent rains. The back lawn did (or the neighbours did)." "We thought it was just the lack of water during the summer. We didn't water much- it's too expensive."
A few more questions often leads to a positive diagnosis of chinch bugs. The shady parts of the lawn are green. The worst damage is in the sunny parts of the lawn. 

 If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care- get The KING OF GREEN:

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