Is it Chinch Bugs? Fungus? Or Something Else?


By Rick Orr 05/06/2017
Remote video URL
Part of my job is to diagnosis what is wrong with a lawn, what's causing the problem, what happen and most important - how to fix the problem


Here is an example:

The customer explains  "I think I have chinch bugs or a fungus, it can't be water,  My Irrigation is running. and "I water according to the restrictions"  - like water restrictions are prescription given by the government to tell you the best way to water your lawn. - heh, that’s funny - water restriction are not prescriptions and are not the best way to water your lawn.

That's a topic for another time… back to the scene here

So what is happening….

The lawn has a lot of brown areas and some green areas that appear to be healthy.

The customer knows the irrigation system is working and she is following the government restrictions, which leads her to believe it can't be water and that it must be something else - like chinch bugs or a fungus.

We can rule out chinch bugs or fungus or anything biological - this is an irrigation problem. But how can it be an irrigation problem, if the system is running?

First, we need to understand that it is possible for all the following to be true:

That the irrigation is running
She is following water restrictions
And her lawn is suffering from lack of water.

All of that can be true at the same time.

How? - low pressure -  there's not enough water pressure for the irrigation system to run properly - it's running, but running poorly.

How do I know this? The two dark green spots are sprinkler heads. Due to the low pressure, the heads never fully extend and they  "weep" water around the heads and keep those areas moist. This green arch is caused by low pressure too. But this head here has just enough pressure to function but it only produces a "pee" stream of water goes about 15 feet and creates this green arch.

The fix is to find  the cause of the low pressure on the system - it could be broken pipe, broken head, or a pump problem. For those on reclaim, it could be the low pressure on the reclaim water system.

Lawn spraying can't fix any of those problems but a good irrigation tech can.

However, There's always the danger that chinch bugs, which prefer water stressed dead dying grass, will attack the lawn and make this irrigation problem much, much worse.

The solution: be sure that a good insecticide has been applied within the last month, fix and repair the irrigation and water the heck out of that lawn for at least 10 days.

This is my job, I love it, I do this all the time - and not every brown spot is an irrigation problem, chinch bugs and grub damage mimic water stress and are hard to tell apart from irrigation issues. So if you're in doubt, let the expert diagnosis what is ailing your lawn. It could save you a lot of time, effort and money.

Rick Orr Owner-Operator APL Pest Control/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
APL Pest Control

Rick Orr is the creator of, Owner/Operator of APL Pest Control and a graduate from VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology).  

Since 1980, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts and large communities. Rick worked as a Golf Course Superintendent of Fripp Island Resort, agronomist for Seaside, FL and the spray tech for Vinoy Golf Course. Rick has been certified as an arborist, landscape and irrigation contractor and adjunct professor for Environmental Horticulture (SPC) in Pinellas County.  

Home Pest Control came naturally. Entomology (bug science) was part of agronomy studies. Nearly every indoor pest problem starts outdoors. Crossing over to home pest control from lawn spraying was a natural process – the technology, methods and materials used for home pest control are modifications of the ones used for lawn spraying. 

The results of that work is a one of the top rated pest control companies in Pinellas County – APL Pest Control. APL Pest Control is a family owned business serving residential and commercial properties in Pinellas County, FL. 

Free Price Quote for Home Pest Control and/or Lawn Spraying CLICK HERE

To learn more about APL Pest Control CLICK HERE

Speaking Engagements - Does it seem like you are only hearing one side of water restrictions, fertilizer bans, plant restrictions, and many other urban landscape hot topics? Rick Orr is available for speaking engagements for your HOA, Community or Professional Association or Garden Club about a variety of subjects. To contact Rick you can find him on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram for booking information.