The recent warm up in the weather is bringing on some chinch bug activity.
I have seen some damage around, so be on the lookout. Chinch bugs are black with wings that have a very distinct black and white pattern on them.
Adult chinch bugs overwinter in bunch grasses and buffalograss. They deposit eggs in the spring. The nymphs begin feeding immediately after they emerge. A second generation is produced later in the summer.
Signs of possible chinch bug damage can show up as yellow or brown areas. Damage usually occurs in sunny areas. Chinch bugs are tiny and hard to spot; they also feed on the grass near or just beneath the soil.
Causes for concern should be 20 or more chinch bugs per square foot. This warrants treatment.
The University of Nebraska recommends carbaryl (Sevin) or bifenthrin applied in three to five gallons of water per 1,000-square feet. Bifenthrin can also be found in Ortho Lawn Insect Killer Granules and Ortho Bug-B-Gon Lawn and Garden Insect Killer.
Be sure to read and follow label directions to determine dilution and application rates.
After applying the insecticide, water enough (an eighth to quarter inch only) to move it into the thatch layer where most of the chinch bugs are hiding and feeding.
Follow the label instructions to determine dilution and application rates. Do not re-enter the area until the grass is dry.
For more information on chinch bugs, contact the Ford County Extension Office at 620-2274542 or visit us online at www.ford.ksu.edu.