Power in Numbers! What's killing my grass? LAWN VAMPIRES.
If you are noticing small circular patches of dead grass forming on your lawn, even though you are watering and fertilizing you may have Chinch Bugs. Or your dog could use some more water in its diet. That we will leave up to you!
If you think it's Chich Bugs here is some info for you!
Individually, they are small, minuscule surface feeder pests. Their power lies in their numbers.
They start life as orange nymphs and then grow into dark brown and grey and then their wings and all-over colour change to black.
They start out in the spring with the females laying eggs that will hatch in early to mid-June. Orange nymphs can actually be seen in the rough. They are fully grown by mid to late August, and in a hot summer can repopulate and start the process all over again.."
The adults have mouthparts that injure the turf and leave salivary toxins in the plants, which then affects the plant's ability to transport water and nutrients. They actually suck the juice out of the grass blades and kind of like a mosquito they inject a toxin into the grass blade which kills it. When they infest in large numbers they start to kill off small to medium size patches very quickly. Call them the vampire of the lawn world.
You will see a reddish-purple discolouration of the leaf blade and as the damage progresses you will see a straw colour that will not respond to irrigation or fertilizer. Full sun grasses are most likely to be affected. Be sure to get down and examine your dry patches – they aren’t always lacking water – this could be an infestation that needs to be treated immediately.
The problem with these insects is they do overwinter on the properties. They'll go underneath shrubs and hedges so they'll be back next year to lay new hatches of eggs so the infestations become exponentially larger and larger each year.
We can help eliminate these nasty bugs with adequate fertilizer in spring/summer and fall. Make sure to dethatch in the spring and you can help reduce the number of these critters on your property. Proper all-season watering, as well as overseeding, will improve the overall health of the turf. Healthy Turf can help to fight off predators better and more naturally.
Remember these pesky critters love hot and dry conditions. That's why they flourish in the heat of summer. Do not mow your grass too low when mowing and keep your blades sharp. That way your lawn has cooler conditions and can fight off these LAWN VAMPIRES.