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Battling Chinch Bugs When you Own Tampa Real Estate

Nov 16, 2007
When it comes to the overall appearance of your home, your lawn plays a vital role. It's absolutely imperative that you do everything possible to keep your lawn in the best possible condition. Towards this end, you need to be aware of the damage that can be caused to your lawn through chinch bug infestation. In addition, if you find that your lawn is plagued with chinch bugs, you will also want to know what steps you can and will need to take to resolve the problem.

The most common type of turf that is utilized in Florida is St. Augustine grass. Chinch bugs actually can cause great harm to St. Augustine grass. However, other types of lawn grasses are not seriously effected by the presence of chinch bugs.

The dreadful chinch bug actually is related to other insect nuisances including leaf bugs, lace bugs and stink bugs. Adult chinch bugs are about 1/5 of an inch in length and are black with white-silver sings. In the Tampa and Tampa Bay area, about three to four generations of these insects are spawned and develop into adulthood during the course of any given year.

If you do not detect the chinch bugs directly, a sign that your lawn may be infested with chinch bugs is found when you notice that portions of your lawn are staring to turn yellow. This change in color occurs as your lawn begins to die. Chinch bugs actually suck the juices from the grass blades themselves.

There is a practical test that you can utilize to determine if chinch bugs are present in your lawn. In an area of your lawn that you think might be infested, pour a special soap solution onto the grass. The solution should consist of one fluid ounce of dish washing detergent blended into two gallons of water. Pour the concoction onto three square foot segment of the lawn that you fear may be infested. Within a couple of minutes you should see the chinch bugs emerging on the surface of the grass.

There are insecticides available on the market that can deal with chinch bug problems. In this regard, you need to look for insecticides that contain Pyrethroids or Orthene. If you have found an infestation, it is important that you apply one or another of these product immediately in order to prevent your lawn from becoming completely destroyed.

The manner in which you maintain your lawn can also go far in preventing chinch bug infestation. One of the more important steps that you will want to take is to ensure that your lawn is cut to the proper height. Regular St. Augustine grass varieties should be cut to three to four inches. Semi-dwarf varieties of St. Augustine grass should be cut to two to two and a half inches.

Finally, slow release nitrogen fertilizers work to control the infestation of chinch bugs. More rapidly working nitrogen fertilizers should be avoided.

By following these pointers, you will be able to avoid or control chinch bug problems that otherwise can cause serious damage to your St. Augustine grass. In my opinion you should always check with your local nursery or lawn company to see what they suggest you use to control chinch bugs.
About the Author
Lance Mohr is your Tampa real estate expert, with over 10 years of experience and 15 years of investing. Please visit our Tampa Real Estate website and add our Tampa real estate blog to your favorites section of your browser.
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