Chinch bugs & St Augustine grass - Knowledgebase Question

Trinity, Fl
Question by burtgrace
July 7, 2010
Tampa, fl. Chinch bugs from my neighbor's lawn have invaded the left side of my property. He doesn't spray for bugs. The guy who treats my lawn sprayed but tells me the grass on that side has to be pulled out and replanted. Do I rake the dead ST Augustine grass out? Do I replant with plugs,sod or seed? What is the best way to do this and prevent the chinch bugs from returning?


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Answer from NGA
July 7, 2010

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Chinch bugs feed on the roots of the grass so if the grass roots are dead, the grass won't come back. You might try digging out a strip of turf to see if there are any roots left. Inspect the roots - if they are creamy white inside, they're still alive and there's hope for your lawn. If the insides of the roots are brown or rusty colored, they're dead and the dead lawn should be removed. You can sod for instant lawn or you can take plugs from a healthy part of your lawn and plant them in the bare areas. They will spread and grow together eventually. St. Augustine seeds are not readily available so I'd go with the sod or plugs. You may have to treat again for chinch bugs. The easiest way to test for their presence is to scrape your foot over the top of the grass. Chinch bugs will hop onto the top of your shoe. Best wishes with your lawn!

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