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Chinch Bug

Actual Size: ⅛ to ⅙”

Characteristics: Elongated, angular body with two antennae that are bulbed near the end. Dark coloration and wings that overlap on the body.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes; overlapped on the body.

Habitat: Mainly found in the thatch layer of a lawn, where twigs and old leaves begin to decompose. They are particularly drawn to hot and dry conditions.

Habits: 

  • Most active in the heat of summer from early July to late August. 
  • Can cause yellowing or browning on your lawn as they feed. 
  • More likely to infest in a hot summer following a dry spring.
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Chinch Bugs in Kailua Kona

Chinch bugs are tiny insects with a significant impact on agricultural landscapes. Adult chinch bugs measure about one-fifth of an inch and feature distinctive black bodies with white wings folded over their backs. These agricultural pests have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use to feed on the sap of grasses. While their appearance may seem unremarkable at first glance, the damage they can inflict on crops, especially turfgrass, can be a big problem for property owners.

Chinch Bug Habitat

These insects thrive in warm and dry environments, preferring areas with ample sunlight. They are commonly found in grassy fields, lawns, and golf courses. Chinch bugs specifically target grasses, and their habitat choice reflects their preference for the sap of these plants. Since they are most active during hot and dry weather, their populations can rapidly increase in the peak of summer.

Chinch Bug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Chinch bugs pose a significant threat to the health of grasses. They feed on the sap of grass plants, injecting toxins that lead to yellowing, wilting, and ultimately death of the affected vegetation. While chinch bugs are not harmful to humans directly, the economic impact of their damage on agricultural and turfgrass industries is substantial. Homeowners and turf managers need to be vigilant in monitoring for chinch bug activity, especially in warm seasons, and take preventive measures to protect their lawns. If you need help with a chinch bug problem, it’s recommended to contact your local pest control experts.