That Dirty Word in Gardening; Those Chitty-Chinch Bugs
I'm not trying to be too silly with the alliteration in the headline, but it also helps prove the point that they are pronounced with a CH. I can always tell when the "transplants" from northern states are asking questions about this bane of St. Augustine lawns, because they say "CINCH BUG."
Fortunately, if you know what you are looking for, they can be a CINCH to take care of – he says with a punny-wink! I made the prediction on the air this past weekend, that if you had Chinch Bugs last year, and you haven't put in a sprinkler system, you will likely get them again this year. But as we noted from years of experience with this nasty pest, if you don't know how to diagnose them, then you are missing half the battle in their control.
Last year, at this time we were saturated with rains in June. This year, we are already about 3 inches behind our rainfall totals, just to kind of give you a perspective on how quickly things can truly change in our environment. May was wonderfully cooler than normal and since the very end of May we have had scant little rain.
Translation for this week’s email tip: HERE COME THE CHINCH BUGS.
As I’ve said in the past, the dominant numbers of chinch bug-free lawns out there are the ones with quality irrigation systems and the most susceptible are the ones where the residents go on vacation during the summer and forget to have someone water their lawns for them while they are gone. And all it takes is one to two weeks and you can lose your entire lawn to chinch bugs if not taken care of properly.
Here is our permanent tip sheet on our GardenLine Webpage if you want to know the ins and outs of diagnosing these critters, and exactly how to control them once you confirm that you have them.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
Be sure to check out Randy's Event Page to see where else Randy will be for the next few weekends. Bring your plants, bugs, and diseases for identification purpose.