Serving Southwestern Pennsylvania Since 1981

My Lawn Has Yellow Patches! Is It the Weather—or Chinch Bugs?

 

During the hottest months of summer, you may notice that your lawn has yellow-brown patches. Since it’s common for yellow patches to develop when there’s been little rain, you could think that you’re losing your healthy, green lawn to heat stress. What many homeowners don’t realize is that these yellow patches can also be caused by chinch bugs, which feast on Western Pennsylvania grass.

What Do Chinch Bugs Look Like?

They’re small—just around 1/6 inch long once they are fully grown. They are greyish black, have small hairs surrounding their bodies, and have folded white wings. These insects are camouflaged by grass and thatch, and since they’re small, you probably won’t see them. However, they can cause damage to your grass, which is their main source of food. They also damage the grass while they draw the liquid from the blades, making parts of your lawn turn yellow, then brown, and then die.

What Conditions Do They Thrive In?

The adult female chinch bugs can lay hundreds of eggs every few months throughout their lifespan. By October, they choose an area to overwinter until the spring and warmer temperatures again arrive.

Chinch bugs like open areas that receive a lot of sun. That means that your lawn may be their perfect home during the hottest summer months. They feed on grass that’s common to Western PA, including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and red fescue. You’ll notice patches of damaged turf in July and August. If it’s been a dry, hot summer, you may think those patches are caused by little rain or heat stress, but chances are, you have a chinch bug problem.

Prevent and Control Chinch Bugs with Superior Lawn Care

Since chinch bug infestations can get out of control by July, you should use a surface insect control in May and June that’s part of an overall, multi-step lawn application program. Superior Lawn Care’s five-step program will give you a dense, green, carpeted lawn throughout the summer months. We cover all areas in southwestern Pennsylvania including Murrysville, Indiana, Wexford, Greensburg, Penn Township, and many other places in and around Pittsburgh. Call or contact us today to learn more about surface insect control.