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Chinch bugs still causing havoc in Ottawa: what are the signs?

Does your lawn have bugs?

We wanted to talk more about a current lawn issue that we have had an increasingly large number of phone calls for over the past week: chinch bugs (which are a surface insect in your lawn). Keep reading to know what signs to look for, how to verify that you have them.

First of all, the signs for chinch bugs start with a brownish-yellowish spot or spots on your lawn which continue to spread as time goes by. Chinch bugs hatch in various “waves”, so to speak, over the course of several weeks. Once hatched, the baby chinch bugs – which are a red color and very small – begin right away to feed on your beautiful lawn by sucking the sap from the crowns and stems and then injecting a substance into the plants to stop water movement within the structure of the grass, which therefore causes the grass to die. Their damage is usually confused for dry spots, though no amount of watering will bring this grass back to life until these guys move on. Damage by these little bugs can become fairly extensive.

Damage normally begins in mid to late June. It will then turn brown and drive the turf into dormancy – even if you’re watering. It started a little later this year due to all the rain we had. As this happens the chinch bugs expand the perimeter of their feasting grounds and continue sucking the juice out of the grass, causing the patches to grow into large brown areas.

To check for chinch bugs, first go to the outer edge of where your brown patches are, near where the brown and green grass meets. Kneel down and lean over and gently spread the grass down near the roots, as if it were someone’s hair and scalp. Once you’ve done this, wait a moment. If you have chinch bugs you should be able to see little red and/or dark dots scurrying around near the base of the grass. They look like stubby little ants.

There are many different surface insects that can reside in your lawn. If you are having trouble with surface insects such as Ants, Fleas & Ticks (Lime Disease), Earwigs, Spiders, Crickets, Cockroaches and many other insects that you find around your property you can simply log into your customer assistant website, which can be accessed from here, and book a surface ant control treatment now! Once you’ve done that, we’ll be sure to get one of our licensed technicians out as soon as possible to do the application. If you haven’t already signed up for our customer assistant website we suggest doing so, even if you don’t have a chinch bug issue! It’s a great way to access your account, view and add services, send in a question, as well as see helpful tips for lawn care.

February 2018
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Green Unlimited
3-2709 Stevenage Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1G 3N2

Phone: 613.744.7336