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Home > Bugs > Bugs of Lawns > Chinch Bugs

Chinch Bugs—Blissus spp.

Chinch bugs are small, true bugs (Hemiptera) that damage turf grasses and grain crops such as wheat and sorghum. There are a number of different species that occur in different areas. Immature chinch bugs feed on the same plants as do adults. Chinch bugs cause irregular patches of dead or yellowed turf and are especially damaging during hot, dry summers following a dry spring.

 

lawn damage caused by chinch bugs newly hatched nymph of chinch bug adult chinch bugs
Chinch bug damage is usually first detected when irregular patches of turf begin to turn yellow then straw colored. The straw colored areas may be completely dead. These patches continue to become larger in spite of watering. Newly hatched nymphs appear orange red with a pale whitish band across their abdomens. As they molt through five growth stages (instars), nymphs gradually change color from red to orange to black and develop wing pads as they develop. Adult chinch bugs are about 1/5 inch long, have black bodies and fully developed wings that appear frosty-white except for distinctive triangular black patch-like markings at the middles of the outer margins. Adults appear as either long-winged or short-winged forms.

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Identification and Control Information (each will open in a new window)

 

[Photos, left to right:   ; Natalie Hummel, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Bugwood.org;  ]

 
It is the policy of the State of Maine to minimize reliance on pesticides. The Maine Department of Agriculture and the Maine IPM Council encourage everyone to practice integrated pest management and to use pesticides only as a last resort. The mention of pesticides in the fact sheets linked to these pages does not imply an endorsement of any product. Be sure that any product used is currently registered and follow all label directions.