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
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 nymph of chinch bug
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
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

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