Chinch Bugs

According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Southern chinch bugs can rapidly damage a lawn. The patchy areas of yellowing grass are usually the first indication of chinch bug activity. Uncontrolled chinch bugs will rapidly kill the grass which will begin to appear brown. Homeowners ofter mistake the damage for drought.


These damaged areas of the grass are generally circular in shape. They expand outward as the insects move from dying grass into healthier grass. These southern insects attack the open sunny areas first. Areas of the lawn that are under drought stress are also a target. Consequently, periods of drought cause elevated chinch bug abundance and damage. The thick thatch areas of the lawn provide refuge from natural enemies and environmental conditions.


t’s easy to determine if you have chinch bugs. Simply part the grass where the brown damaged lawn meets the green grass. Then look for small insects that are damaging the turf.  

Although adults can fly, they preferentially walk from plant to plant, which also makes them easier to detect. Chinch bugs love the thatch area of the grass. But, when populations are high, you will see them resting on leaf blades or crawling across the lawn. Although these insects are small, there are a few easy methods for detecting them in a lawn.

Some causes for chinch bugs is mowing your grass too short or improper irrigation.  This will dry your lawn out create the perfect condition for chinch bugs to begin their damage. 

Chinch Bug Treatment

When we treat a lawn for these bugs it requires two treatments 14 days apart. This will break the lifecycle of this destructive insect.

Check out our Lawn Treatment Programs for more information. You will also see the different lawn insects in our area and the specific treatment for each.

Chinch Bug Video

Rich Jones from Jacksonville, FL, and The WOKV Morning Show will explain more in the Chinch Bug Video.

Chinch Bug Video
Rich Jones on Chinch Bugs

Early Chinch bug treatment in Jacksonville FL is important because these destructive insects affect all types of turf grasses and are extremely devastating. They can take out an entire lawn in a week.

Test for Chinch Bug

To test your lawn for chinch bugs, simply rake your fingers across the dead grass onto a white paper (or your driveway) and you will see them, if they are present.

These bugs naturally exist in our environment and there are some natural diseases that will keep them at bay. They prefer the moist grass but when the grass dries out, these natural diseases go away and the chinch bug population spikes.

Homeowners sometimes mistake Chinch Bugs for Mole Crickets so visit our Mole Cricket page to see the difference in our Chinch Bug Video. Treatment for Chinch bugs is described in this Chinch Bug video below:

To you, it looks like your lawn is drying out but, watering it won’t help at this point. When it’s hot, mowing your grass too short and improper irrigation will dry your lawn out, creating the perfect environment for chinch bugs to begin their damage.

There are products that will keep the bugs from spreading but it’s important that you begin Chinch Bug Treatment just as soon as you discover them in your lawn as shown in our Chinch Bug Video.

According to the University of Florida IFAS/Extension:

Early damage appears as patchy areas of yellowing grass that rapidly browns and dies if the pest is left uncontrolled. The turf may initially appear to be drought stressed, which is a common misdiagnosis and allows damage to progress, often beyond repair. These patchily damaged areas are generally circular in shape and expand outward as the insects move from dying grass into healthier grass.

Turf in open sunny areas or under drought stress is often the first attacked and most severely damaged by southern chinch bug. This pest also prefers areas that have thick thatch layers because the thatch provides the insect with a place to feed and seek refuge from natural enemies and environmental conditions.

Peninsular Pest Control is the Largest, Family and Locally owned Pest Control and Lawn Service company in the Jacksonville area.