How to Get Rid of Chinch Bugs in St. Augustine Grass
Chinch bugs are small insects that feed on grass, destroying it in the process. They also lay eggs in the grass. When the baby chinch bugs hatch, they continue the grass destruction cycle. Chinch bugs are most attracted to St. Augustine grass, which widely grows in southern states such as Texas and Florida. Seeing a lot of brown, dead patches in a lawn that is properly taken care of is a sign that chinch bugs are attacking your St. Augustine grass.
Fill a spray bottle with water, dish soap and a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol. This will result in a homemade anti-chinch bug mix.
Spray your grass thoroughly with this mixture. The chinch bugs will not respond well to this concoction. Chinch bugs tend to stay near the root of the St. Augustine grass. Once the spray reaches them, the living chinch bugs will crawl to the top of the grass blades to try to protect themselves.
Allow your mixture to set in for a couple of hours. Go back outside and cover your lawn with old sheets. This may seem odd, but many of the chinch bugs may attach themselves to the sheet as a safety precaution since the sheet is not soaked in the soapy mixture.
Fold up the sheets and place them in a garbage bag. Don't worry about the chinch bugs coming in contact with you. Although they are harmful to grass, they are no threat to people. Dispose of the bag immediately in a trash can.
Take your hose and soak your lawn. This will drown remaining chinch bugs or make them float to the surface. At this point they should either die naturally or be picked off by hungry birds.
Cut your grass often. Chich bugs are more likely to breed in tall grass.
During droughts, make sure to water your grass efficiently. This reduces the likelihood of a chinch bug attack.
You can also use insecticides or pesticides on your grass to kill the chinch bugs. If you choose to do this, keep in mind that insecticides can be harmful to children and pets.
- Spray bottle
- Dish soap
- Rubbing alcohol