How to Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals

Four Methods:Soap RemedyUse Natural PredatorsMixture of OilsFuture Treatment and Monitoring



Chinch bugs (also known as cinch bugs) are a pest in Eastern Canada and the USA. They feed on grass, removing the sap from the crown and stem of each blade of grass. Grass under attack from cinch bugs will turn yellow and dies off in patches. In the case of a severe infestation, the entire lawn can turn brown and die off.[1]Treating chinch bugs without using pesticides can be done as follows.

Steps

  1. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 1
    1
    Water the lawn deeply but infrequently during warmer months. Dry lawns in the sun encourage chinch bug infestations.
  2. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 2
    2
    Provide shade over the lawn. Chinch bugs are not partial to shaded areas. Be sure to plant native species of shrubs and trees.
  3. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 3
    3
    Avoid over-fertilizing the lawn.

Method 1
Soap Remedy

  1. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 4
    1
    For a really severe infestation, try this soap flakes remedy.
  2. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 5
    2
    Mow the lawn area where the infestation has occurred. Avoid mowing too short or this will "stress" the grass.
  3. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 6
    3
    Sprinkle a light layer of pure soap flakes across the infested area of the lawn.
  4. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 7
    4
    Water thoroughly to dissolve the soap flakes. Keep an eye on the patch to see how it improves. If preferred, use a soap spray solution (make up the soap mixture with water and pour over rather than sprinkle.)
  5. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 8
    5
    Spread a flannel sheet over the soap area. The chinch bugs will run for cover and get caught in the flannel sheet. You will be able to dispose of the bugs caught up in the sheet.[2] The bugs can be drowned.
  6. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 9
    6
    Repeat as needed.

Method 2
Use Natural Predators

  1. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 10
    1
    Purchase the big-eyed bug. This is a bug related to the chinch that will parasitize the chinch eggs if the conditions are favorable.[3]

Method 3
Mixture of Oils

  1. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 11
    1
    Make up a mixture of equal parts fish oil and sesame oil. This can also be purchased from a garden center.
  2. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 12
    2
    Spread across the infested area. This will kill the chinch bugs.[4]

Method 4
Future Treatment and Monitoring

  1. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 13
    1
    Keep the lawn healthy. This is the best defense against chinch bug invasion.
  2. Image titled Treat Chinch Bugs Without Chemicals Step 14
    2
    Perform maintenance checks to see if the bug has moved in. Nip it in the bud early if you discover them, using any of these remedies. Toronto Public Health suggests testing for chinch bugs in late July, in sunny spots, using the following method:
    • Cut off the ends of a large can.
    • Wearing gloves, push the can into a damaged or weak area of the lawn.
    • Fill with water and wait. If you have chinch bugs, they'll float to the top.

Tips

  • Thatch encourages the infestation of chinch bugs (the layer of organic matter that sits between the crown and the soil).
  • Be certain that you are dealing with chinch bugs; avoid the possibility of destroying bugs that are good for the lawn!
  • Oils not appreciated by chinch bugs include neem, cinnamon and rosemary oils.[5]
  • A detergent spray will annoy the adult bugs (causing them to leave) and kill the young.[6]

Warnings

  • Be sure to use pure soap flakes for the sake of the environment.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap flakes
  • Water
  • Flannel sheet
  • Predatory wasp

Sources and Citations

  1. Health Canada, Chinch Bugs Pest Note
  2. Free Unique Articles, Cinch bugs - get rid of them now
Show more... (4)

Article Info

Categories: Garden Pests and Weeds | Lawn Care