Combating Chinch Bugs in St. Augustine Grass

Chinch bugs are the nemesis of Florida homeowners who want to achieve a lush, green lawn. This is especially true for homeowners with St. Augustine sod. Chinch bugs invade St. Augustine grass and quickly cause widespread damage if they’re not stopped in their tracks. Here’s what you need to know about these elusive pests and how to stop them. 

What Is the Chinch Bug?

Is your grass turning yellow or reddish-brown? If so, it could be under attack by chinch bugs. These incredibly tiny bugs are difficult to spot, but the damage they cause is obvious. Chinch bugs only measure about ⅕” long with black bodies and white wings across their backs. 

Unfortunately, they view your lawn as their dinner, so even if you cut, water, and fertilize your sod exactly as you should, chinch bugs can still cause trouble. They will suck your grass blades dry and inject a poison that kills the blades. This tends to cause damage in patches that end up looking like they are suffering from drought. A professional pest control service is the best way to stop chinch bugs in their tracks. 

St. Augustine Sod:  A Shade Tolerant Solution

St. Augustine sod, also known as Charleston grass in South Carolina, is the most popular choice for lawns throughout the southern United States and even displays a high shade tolerance compared to other varieties of grass. Scotts Provista, Seville, Citrablue, Palmetto, and Bitter Blue are the most shade tolerant cultivated varieties of St. Augustine available. 

Maintaining Your St. Augustine Sod

Don’t overlook the fact that sod with high shade tolerance requires diligent maintenance. Use these tips to extend and strengthen the life of your shaded sod:

  • Water your sod regularly, especially when signs of drought stress emerge.
  • Increase mowing height to leave more area on the grass blades to absorb the sun.
  • Trim the lowest branches on nearby trees to help your sod receive more soil, water, oxygen, and nutrients.
  • Don’t overfertilize, as this provides more food sources for chinch bugs.

Get Professional Help Managing Chinch Bugs in St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine is a favorite sod among Florida homeowners, but it’s also vulnerable to chinch bug attacks. Ensure you take proper precautions and seek help from sod professionals who know exactly how to eradicate chinch bugs and protect healthy sod.

Council Growers Sod in Tampa has decades of experience cultivating St. Augustine sod with beautiful results. The Council family has been growing sod for more than four generations, so they offer insightful grower knowledge to help you make the most of your sod purchase. Call (813) 633-8665 to learn more and schedule a sod appointment today.