Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

A Vinegar Remedy for Chinch Bugs

By Billie Abbott
Chinch bugs suck out the sap of plants and grasses.

Adult and nymphal chinch bugs feed on all parts of host plants such as corn, rice, small grains, sorghum, turf and bunch grasses. For an alternative to pesticides, use an apple cider vinegar mixture for an organic remedy.


Mature chinch bugs have a black body and frosty white wings. They grow to nearly 3/16 inches long. Characteristic triangular black designs mark the center of the wings along the outer edges. Nymphs have a colorful reddish orange body with a pale white stripe across their abdomen.


Chinch bugs remove sap from the bottom of plants with their sucking mouthparts and insert a toxic substance that inhibits the plant from transferring water. Infestations produce yellowed plants and grasses. Lawn damage will emerge as heat stresses areas in the yard.


Prepare the remedy by mixing together 1 gallon of water, 1 ounce of dark molasses, 1 ounce of liquid seaweed, 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar, 1 ounce of citrus oil and 1 cup of manure compost tea or liquid humate. After combing all ingredients, spray the mixture on chinch bug-infested plants and grass. To make manure compost tea, fill half a bucket with manure compost and the other half with water. Let it stand for 10 to 14 days. Before using, dilute it down to one part concentrate to four to 10 parts water and strain out any solids.


About the Author


Billie Abbott is a freelance writer, producing articles for numerous websites, including ParentDish and Gadling. She specializes in topics about gardening, animals, parenting and travel.