During the warm months, you may see my tech or me on our knees, digging in your lawn looking like we are praying to pachamama. We’re not, we are looking for chinch bugs.
Chinch Bugs are very small – about the size of a pin head – and when exposed to sunlight, they scurry about trying to hide. When you spread open the canopy of turf and expose them to sunlight, you must be up close to see them – on your knees.
Why look for them? Simple, chinch bug damage looks like water stress and water stress looks like chinch bug damage. The way to tell the difference is to look for chinch bugs. No chinch bugs then it is a broken sprinkler or something but not chinch bugs.
There is a catch: Chinch bugs are often a secondary causal agent – chinch bugs prefer hot dry grass – where there is water stress, chinch bugs are not far behind. So, when there is water stress from a broken head or whatever, it is best to treat for chinch bugs as a preventative measure.
This video shows the size of the chinch bug relative to the debris in the lawn and the frantic screwball scurrying for cover.