How to Rid Your Lawn of Hairy Chinch Bugs

The hairy chinch bug is a lawn pest commonly found in Eastern Canada. Known for its hefty appetite and frightening visage, the hairy chinch bug has become a major pain for many Ottawa business owners. If your lawn has turned a sickly yellow colour over the past few weeks, you could be suffering from a hairy situation. Seek immediate treatment from the lawn care experts and sprinkler system installers at Nutri-Lawn to ensure that these pesky little critters don't devour your entire property.

How to Identify a Hairy Chinch Bug
Hairy chinch bugs have a number of defining characteristics. First, they're extremely small; most adult hairy chinch bugs measure just 5 millimetres in length. Fully-grown hairy chinch bugs have six reddish legs, a black body, and white wings. Nymph hairy chinch bugs are bright red and have distinct white stripes along their backs.

If you can't see hairy chinch bugs in your lawn, but see signs of their presence (see below for common symptoms of hairy chinch bugs), the commercial inground sprinkler system installers at Nutri-Lawn recommend trying the following trick:

  • Take a large coffee can and cut both ends off. Push the can halfway into your lawn (remember to wear gloves to avoid cutting your fingers). Once secure, pour some water into the can and wait for a few minutes. If you have a hairy chinch bug infestation, you'll see some of the nymphs float to the top.

Ottawa business owners should perform this test regularly over the summer months. Hairy chinch bug nymphs normally hatch in early June, and cause the most damage near the end of the same month. These critters prefer to hide at the base of grass blades, near the soil.

Protect Your Property from a Hairy Chinch Bug Attack
The commercial sprinkler system technicians at Nutri-Lawn find that hairy chinch bugs are most likely to inhabit areas that are hot, dry, and poorly irrigated. Protect your lawn by installing a commercial inground sprinkler system and  instituting the following lawn care practices:

  • Cut your lawn to a reasonable length. Grass that is cut too short becomes vulnerable to disease and pest damage.
  • Always aerate your lawn in the spring. This will help prevent the soil on your property from becoming too compact. It will also improve your lawn's ability to retain water.
  • Water, water, water! Hairy chinch bugs don't like moisture. Scheduling your commercial inground sprinkler system to come on regularly will help prevent the pests from ever moving into your lawn. Remember that your lawn should be moist to a depth of 6 to 8 centimetres following each watering.
  • Don't over-fertilize. Too much fertilizer can make your lawn vulnerable and cause greater insect activity. When discussing fertilizer options with a Nutri-Lawn commercial sprinkler system installer, be sure to ask about water-insoluble or slow-release nitrogen-rich formulas. These will keep your lawn looking great and help keep hairy chinch bugs at bay.

Protect Your Lawn Now
Hairy chinch bug damage can be devastating. If you think that your lawn might be suffering from these unpleasant inhabitants, follow your nose. Hairy chinch bugs give off an offensive odour when crushed. If you smell something strange while walking across the lawn, don't delay – call a Nutri-Lawn Ottawa lawn care representative today!