Now is the time to get a pre emptive application down for Chinch Bugs. The weather is warming up fast and Spring is in the air. This is the time where the chinch bugs are looking to reproduce and infest your yard. Chinch bug damage looks similar to a dry spot in your lawn, however where as a dry spot is more silver in color, chinch bug damage will be more brown and will have yellow leaf blades near the outside of the damage. Chinch bugs usually find a dry spot and start there then they move outward as they destroy a lawn. The yellowing is from where the bugs are piercing into the leaf blades of the grass and ingesting the “juice” for lack of better terminology. Chinch bugs work fast because they reproduce fast. They lay up to 5 eggs per day, eggs hatch within 6-13 days (average = 10 days), and nymphs mature in 4-5 weeks. Young nymphs are reddish-orange with a white band across the back, darken in color as they mature, and turn black before becoming adults and get there tell tale white X on their back. Fertilization should be done according to county rules and regulation. A slow release granular is a great idea.
For those of you with Zoysia your grass should have greened up by now and growing well. Continue to spot spray weeds with either Celsious or other non temperature regulated weed control. Fertilizing should be done with high Iron and low nitrogen to avoid possible fungus issues if we get frequent rains. Be on the lookout for worms like Cut worms and sod web worms. This damage is much harder to see in Zoysia lawns because the leaf blades are small and normally the worm will eat it all instead of leaving holes in it. Thus the lawn just looks thin and dry since you are only seeing the stems of the grass. Look carefully before deciding what to treat with.
Bahia lawns should be on the lookout for mole crickets at this time. You will know that you have them when small tunnels can be seen in the bare areas or close to the driveway. Mole crickets tunnel underground so the soil is usually soft where they are working. Keeping your lights off at night will help to deter them from getting in to your lawn in the first place. With the warm winter we had the life cycles have gotten off track so we are seeing mole crickets at just about any time of the year now.