“I am extremely frustrated,” Bob said. The Massachusetts homeowner has been diligently taking care of his yard, with regular feedings, waterings and mowings. “There’s no reason for my lawn to have these big yellow patches, but there they clearly are. What’s going on?”
Chinch Bugs are a common lawn pest that cause large patches of grass to turn yellow and then die. They do this by sucking the juices from the blades of grass – think of them as creepy-crawly little vampires – and then injecting the grass with toxins that cause it to die.
One of the things that makes it really difficult to determine whether or not you have Chinch Bugs in your lawn is the fact that these insects are extremely tiny. They’re only 1/6 of an inch! But there is a simple test that any homeowner can do to determine if they have Chinch Bugs.
How to Test for Chinch Bugs
You’ll need a tin can from the kitchen, such as the sort tuna fish, soup, or vegetables come in.
Cut both ends of the can off with your can opener. Do not cut yourself on any of the sharp metal parts, because that will distract you from your mission of determining whether or not your lawn has Chinch Bugs.
Put the food that was in the can into another container, or eat it. We’re really interested in the can part of this equation.
Take the can outside to the area where you suspect the Chinch bugs may be. Press one of the cut ends into the soil where the yellow damaged grass meets up with the green, still healthy grass. You want the can to go into the soil at least an inch.
Pour water into the can until it’s over the level of the grass. If it turns out that your grass is taller than your can, you’re going to need to repeat this process with a taller can. Either way, what you want to wind up with is a situation with the can containing enough water to completely cover the grass inside it.
Wait ten minutes. This is an easy step. You can use this time to check Facebook or practice your Kegels or call your State Representative and leave a message about an issue that’s important to you. Anything you want, really, but wait at least ten minutes.
Go back and check the can. If you have Chinch Bugs in your lawn, they will have floated to the top of the water.
If there are no Chinch Bugs in the water, fantastic. Here is one problem in this world that you do not have. However, if there are Chinch Bugs in the water, get on the phone to your local lawn care service. They will be able to help you get rid of these annoying pests.