WHY ARE PARTS OF MY YARD DYING?
In southern Louisiana, both in early spring and again during mid to late summer is prime time for Chinch bugs. If you notice an irregular yellowing pattern in your lawn at these times, it's worth taking a look. A few moments of your time keep your yard from dying.
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
You can make the insects visible by getting down to grass level and parting the grass. If you can't readily spot any insects, you can try the "soapy water test." Get one gallon of water with one tablespoon of lemon scented dish soap and pour it all in your problem area. You should see the insects move up to the grass blades. Adult chinch bugs are black with white wings and a white triangle on their back while young chinch bugs are either reddish or black with red bands.
TREAT THE PROBLEM.
Once you have them you can either treat them with an insecticide or you can let them destroy your grass. They will not leave until there isn't any food, what we call grass, left! Fortunately for you there is an abundance of products at any hardware store or even most grocery stores with an outdoor section. I find insecticides containing either Bifenthrin or Imidacloprid to work fairly well on chinch bugs.
WHAT IF I DON'T FIND CHINCH BUGS?
If you start looking and you find some other little monster in your grass, the first step is still identification. Resist the urge to apply the first insecticide you see since you may end up killing beneficial insects and doing nothing to the ones damaging your yard. You can always look online, call out a professional lawn care company or try bagging the little bugger and bringing him to the hardware store. If you don't find any insects, you may want to check your irrigation coverage.