(Blissus leucopterus hirtus)
The Hairy Chinch Bug also known as Blissus leucopterus hirtus, is a lawn insect that changes colors throughout each nymph stage and is typically found in the northeastern United States.
Identifying Hairy Chinch Bug-
As an adult, Hairy Chinch Bug is gray to black in color and covered with fine hairs. Its wings are white with a black spot located in the middle front edge and the legs often have a burnt-orange appearance. This lawn insect sometimes has short wings that end halfway down the abdomen.
Hairy Chinch Bug undergoes five nymphal stages, all of which result in different color and markings. Many of the instar stages feature a cream colored band around the abdomen. Overall, the Hairy Chinch Bug is nearly identical in appearance to the Southern Chinch Bug. The area of adaptation is the easiest way to identify these pests.
Initial damage from this lawn insect will result in the turf having irregular patches of wilted, yellow-brown turf that could resemble drought stress. Feeding disrupts the plant from properly moving water which prevents recovery.
Dry conditions are when these insects are most active for growth and development. This is another reason why drought stress can often mask the damage caused by this insect. Sometimes the damage may not be seen until the turf fails to green up once the drought stress is no longer a problem.
This insect overwinters as an adult. These adults become active when daytime temperatures reach 70° Fahrenheit. Females lay their eggs into the folds of grass blades or into the thatch. The late-hatching nymphs do not survive the winter months, so there are two generations per year.
It's best to kill insects, grubs and other pests before they have a chance to cause damage to your lawn. Scotts LawnService recommends our exclusive Scotts® GrubEx® and Ortho® Max™ Pro insect control products, which will kill a wide variety of lawn damaging pests. Ortho® Max™ Pro eliminates destructive, bothersome insects including the Hairy Chinch Bug, without disturbing the earthworms that are beneficial to your lawn's health.
Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Hairy Chinch Bug control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.