About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chinch Bugs - The Kiss of Death for your Turf

During the hot summer months, this is a familiar sight in many yards, including this spot in my front lawn. A southern chinch bug (Blissus insularis) infestation can quickly kill off healthy St. Augustine grass. While a lot of folks opt to have a local service spray chemical on a regular basis, spot treating an area when a problem develops may be a better solution. It is less toxic to the environment, and applying chemicals less often prevents the pest from developing a resistance to the available products.

We've had more difficulty this summer in trying to contain this infested area. We applied the treatment several times, but the grass continued to die off until we finally applied another brand and met with success. Next time, I'll be sure to spread the chemical out around the fringes of the dead grass to stop these bugs in their tracks.

The University of Florida offers some helpful advice on detecting and controlling them, as well as recommended products in their article, Southern Chinch Bug Management on St. Augustine Grass.

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