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Chinch bugs

Chinch bugs (Blissus leucopterus) are notorious pests for their propensity to wreak havoc on lawns, especially during hot, dry periods. These tiny insects may be diminutive in size, but their impact can be vast, causing brown patches in otherwise lush yards. In this guide, we’ll dive deep into understanding chinch bugs, how to identify them, their habitat, diet, and, most crucially, how to combat them effectively.


  • Appearance: Adult chinch bugs are small, about 1/5 of an inch long, with black bodies and white wings folded over their back. Young nymphs are reddish-orange but turn black as they mature.
  • Signs of chinch bug infestation: Look for irregularly shaped brown, dying grass patches. While drought can cause similar symptoms, chinch bug damage often appears even if the lawn is well-watered.

Common Chinch bugs Species

Southern Chinch Bug (Blissus insularis)

Habitat: Primarily found in the southeastern United States.

Preferred Hosts: St. Augustine grass, but can also affect Bermuda grass and centipede grass.

Appearance: Adults are black with white wings, while nymphs are reddish-orange.

Common Chinch Bug (Blissus leucopterus)

Habitat: Widespread across North America.

Preferred Hosts: Primary pest of grain crops like corn and wheat, but can also affect turfgrass.

Appearance: Adults are about ⅕-inch long, with a black body and white wings that have a triangular black mark.

Western Chinch Bug (Blissus occiduus)

Habitat: Western parts of North America.

Preferred Hosts: Buffalograss and other turfgrasses.

Appearance: Similar in size and appearance to the common chinch bug but primarily found in the western regions.

Hairy Chinch Bug (Blissus hirtus)

Habitat: Northern areas of the U.S. and parts of Canada.

Preferred Hosts: Fine fescues, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass.

Appearance: Slightly smaller than the common chinch bug with a dense covering of tiny hairs on their front wings.

chinch bugs


Chinch bugs thrive in sunny, open spaces, so they’re commonly found in lawns. They tend to be more active and visible during warm, dry weather. These pests burrow at the base of grass plants, making them sometimes hard to detect without close inspection.


These pests feed on the sap of grass plants. Using their needle-like mouthparts, they suck out the nutrients from the grass while injecting a toxin that disrupts water movement within the plant, causing it to turn yellow and eventually die.


How to eliminate Chinch bugs

  • Regular Lawn Maintenance: Regular mowing, watering, and aerating can prevent a chinch bug infestation. A healthy lawn can often fend off these pests on its own.
  • Natural Predators: Introducing natural enemies like spiders, ants, and ladybugs can help reduce chinch bug numbers.
  • Insecticidal Soaps: These are environmentally friendly and effective against chinch bug nymphs.
  • Chemical Pesticides: If the infestation is extensive, consider using chemical treatments. Always follow label instructions, and remember that overuse can harm beneficial insects and the environment.
  • Consult a Professional: To be sure your home is fully protected or if you’re unsure about the correct course of action, consulting with professionals like Mint Pest Control can provide the most effective results.


Are chinch bugs harmful to humans?

No, chinchbugs are primarily a threat to lawns and don't directly threaten humans or pets.

How can I differentiate between drought damage and chinch bug damage?

While both conditions result in brown patches, chinch bug damage is often noticeable even in well-watered areas. Push a metal can into the ground and fill it with soapy water for a surefire check. If chinch bugs are present, they'll float to the top within minutes.

How often should I treat my lawn for chinch bugs?

Treatment frequency depends on the severity of the infestation. For minor issues, one or two treatments per year may suffice. However, monthly treatments might be required during peak seasons for major infestations.

Are there specific grass varieties resistant to chinch bugs?

Certain varieties, like endophytic grasses, are naturally resistant to chinch bugs and can be a good option if these pests are a recurring problem in your area.

Eliminate pest invasion all year round

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We deploy an arsenal of environmentally responsible and effective UV and water-resistant products which include micro-encapsulated formulas that target pests and ensure long-lasting protection.


We thoroughly inspect a property to detect pest activity, possible points of entry and the most effective treatments.


Our team will provide a report with inspection results and our professional recommendations for the most effective treatments.


Using our proprietary 4 Season Eco-Bloc Technology, we address all agreed-upon issues. We maintain ongoing reporting for easy referencing.

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