Chinch bugs are nasty little bugs. It’s important to note there are multiple types of them. Some are prone to southern lawns, and some to northern lawns. Because of this I got a bad infestation in Summer of 2018 after many websites stated they were found only down south. It turns out there is a common chinch bug (south) and a hairy chinch bug (north).
Chinch bugs essentially suck the moisture out of blades of grass. When they first start it looks like random patches of yellow/brown spots. Many times it’s confused for heat stress or lack of watering. In my case I started to water a total of 3 inches per week with no change.
The key is to test for them – watch the video below on how to do that. Once you confirm you have them, treatment is fairly easy. If you find them quick enough the lawn can recover, but in my case some spots never did.
I used Merit 0.5 G to treat them. I applied it twice, the first time I misread and applied too little. In either case it took care of the problem very quickly. To prevent them next year I’ll be applying it again.
Since learning about chinch bugs I noticed a lot of lawns in the area had them. Most of the time lawns will have some and be fine. However, we had an unusually hot and dry summer so the lawn was not able to recover.
Related products: Merit 0.5 G