A turfgrass pest on Long Island and the southeastern part of New York State in the past, the chinch bug is now a serious pest in western New York and throughout the Northeast. Bentgrasses and fescues are particularly susceptible, but other species are also damaged. If there is a cold, wet spring, chinch bugs are usually not a problem because a fungus disease kills most of the overwintering adults. Turf injury occurs during hot, dry periods of summer as adults and nymphs suck the juice from stems and leaves.
|Hairy Chinch Bugs
Adults are blackish with white wings and are about one-fifth inch long. There are short-winged and long-winged adults. Nymphs, the immature forms, are red, brown, or black. All stages can be found at the base of the plants and on thatch, and they move rapidly. There are usually two generations a year. Damage occurs in a hot, dry summer. Their presence can be determined by drenching the turf and covering it with a white cloth. If present, bugs will crawl onto the underside of the cloth in about five minutes.