Lawn Insect - Southern Chinch Bug

(Blissus insularis)

The Southern Chinch Bug, also known as Blissus insularis, is a lawn insect that has different sizes, colors and markings with each nymphal stage. It is typically found in the southeastern United States, although it can also be found in parts of California. The Southern Chinch Bug is most often a pest of St. Augustinegrass, but is also occasionally found in zoysiagrass, bahiagrass, bermudagrass and centipedegrass.

Identifying Southern Chinch Bug -

As an adult, Southern 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.

The Southern 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 Southern Chinch Bug is nearly identical in appearance to the Hairy Chinch Bug. The area of adaptation is the easiest way to identify these pests.

Damage caused by the Southern Chinch Bug appears as patches of wilted, yellow-brown grass that may coalesce if there is a severe infestation. Symptoms are first seen in stressed turf along sidewalks or driveways, especially during hot, dry weather. Actual turf damage is a result of a loss of sap inside the plant and also toxins released by the pest that disrupt the vascular system. Drought stress can often mask the damage caused by this lawn insect.

Lawn Insect - Southern Chinch Bug

Southern Chinch Bug Life Cycle -

The Southern Chinch Bug primary overwinters in its adult form; however, nymphs may survive in warmer parts of the southern states. Females deposit their eggs in between the leaf sheath and stem and the newly emerged nymphs begin feeding under leaf sheaths. After overwintering, the first two generations of Southern Chinch Bug are fairly well defined.

Southern Chinch Bug Control -

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, without disturbing the earthworms that are beneficial to your lawn's health.

Damage caused by the Southern Chinch Bug appears as patches of wilted, yellow-brown grass that may coalesce if there is a severe infestation. Symptoms are first seen in stressed turf along sidewalks or driveways, especially during hot, dry weather. Actual turf damage is a result of a loss of sap inside the plant and also toxins released by the pest that disrupt the vascular system. Drought stress can often mask the damage caused by this lawn insect.

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 Southern 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.