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Chinch Bug Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from chinch bugs by learning techniques for identification and control.

Chinch bug illustration
Blissus spp.


How do I get rid of chinch bugs?

What You Can Do

Homeowners can try these preventative measures:

  • Keep your lawn healthy – irrigate and fertilize when necessary.

  • Remove thatch – chinch bugs prefer lawns that have large amounts of thatch.

What Orkin Does

If you suspect chinch bug damage, contact your local Orkin branch office for sound advice and recommendations. Your pest management professional will know how to inspect for and sample your lawn to find the problem and offer solutions and expertise to execute a plan of attack.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Chinch Bugs

Appearance / Identification

Adult chinch bugs are small insects that have a hard body.

  • Color: They are distinctly colored in spotted combinations of black, white, or red. Many chinch bugs have different coloration in their early nymphal and later nymphal stages.

  • Length: Most species that cause serious crop and turf damage are only about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.

  • Wings: They have two pairs of wings that are folded over the insect’s back.

Life Cycle

Chinch bugs overwinter as adults and emerge in spring to lay eggs on their host plant or in the soil. Eggs hatch within a week and the nymphs begin feeding. Depending on the species and location, chinch bugs will complete two to three generations per year.


Typical chinch bug habitats are agricultural crops, native grasses, weeds, and lawns. The more common species of chinch bugs and their preferred turf grasses are:

  • The Western Chinch Bug – Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, fescues and zoysia grass.

  • The Hairy Chinch Bug – Kentucky bluegrass, English ryegrass, red fescues, and bent grass.

  • The Southern Chinch Bug – St. Augustine grass, zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, and centipede grass.

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