Chinch bugs usually grow to no more than 3.5 millimeters in length. While it may be difficult to think of such small pests as a threat to your lawn, a look at their reproductive habits makes their dangerous potential very clear.
Up to seven generations of chinch bugs are possible per season, with adults laying up to 300 eggs during their short lifespan. Millions of chinch bugs could be feasting on your lawn at any given time this summer. Chinch bugs live in the thatch portion of your lawn, using their beak-like mouths to suck plant juices from grass blades. At the same time, they inject a toxin into the grass blades that can prove fatal to turf. Yellow or brown patches in your lawn are usually the first symptoms of an infestation, and these can spread quickly as chinch bug numbers increase.
Chinch bugs thrive in hot, dry conditions, so it’s important to keep your turf well-watered this summer. Your lawn will need at least 1″ to 1 1/2″ of water per week for optimum plant health. If chinch bugs do make their presence known, prompt treatment with an insecticide will be necessary to prevent major damage from occurring.
Beating Brown Patch
Brown patch is a powerful fungus that infects the grass blades and stems nearest the soil. The first sign of the disease is yellowing grass. Turf quickly becomes dry and turns straw-colored to reddish-brown in a circular pattern, with a darker “smoke ring” that almost looks wet around the edge. As your grass dries out, the area may even look sunken.
Watering Right to Win the Disease Fight
Like many diseases, brown patch likes lawns with too much thatch, too much moisture or too much fertilizer. The best defense is a well-balanced fertilizer program, aeration when needed, and the right watering techniques. Following smart watering tips now and watching for any telltale signs of disease can give you the drop on this deadly disease.
Battling Brown Patch
Of course, sometimes even when you do everything right, disease can strike, so here are a few keys to beating brown patch. A fungicide treatment can chase the disease away, but for your grass to recover more quickly, it needs more.
Diseases most often move from plant to plant in water, so deep watering in the morning, which gives grass time to dry, is especially important. Aerating helps remove extra thatch and brings with it better air circulation and water penetration. Aeration also improves overall soil drainage, which cuts down on wet, soggy spots where disease can spread. Finally, a light fertilization gives your lawn the nutrients it needs to recover quickly.
If you suspect brown patch or any other disease problem, give us a call. Quick action can be important to beating brown patch to the punch. Contact us today!