Chinch Bugs

from: Louisiana Rice
 One of the most often quoted lines from the movie Caddyshack among Superintendents and Assistants usually is only used for a laugh among ourselves.  However, today we found Chinch Bugs on the golf course.

"I'll be the head greenskeeper...hopefully within six years.  That's my schedule.  But I am studying this stuff so I know know, like...chinch bugs.  You know...manganese.  A lot of people don't even know what that is...nitrogen."

While there is a species of Chinch bugs (Southern Chinch Bug, pictured) that can cause significant damage to St. Augustinegrass in the far south, the Common Chinch Bug, which we have in this part of the country, is less of a problem.  While I have see damage from Chinch Bugs it has never been extensive enough for control.

Chinch Bugs are insects that have piercing mouthparts that they use to suck juices from the plant.  They feed above ground on the leaves.  The damage from their feeding looks like small dried patches, which can become large areas of dried grass when Chinch Bug populations are high.  We will treat these areas soon that are exhibiting the most excessive damage.

This is a picture of the bunker on the right side of 15 fairway.  The damage on the face of the bunker is the result of a large Chinch Bug population.

Another view of the bunker on the right of 15 fairway.

Here is a picture of 2 Chinch Bugs in the turf canopy.  Click on the picture for a larger view.  The bugs were very difficult to capture.  They are very small and move quickly.  For a size comparison, the sphere in the upper right is a prill of fertilizer from a recent application.

Can you find the Chinch Bug in this picture?
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