This is the time of year cinch bugs start to show up in home lawns across much of north Texas. There are already some lawns in Wise County that have been damaged and certainly others will follow. These pests usually show up in areas adjacent to a driveway, sidewalk or curb in areas of full sun. If you catch them early they are easy to control with an application of a labeled product. Sevin and orthene are just two of the insecticides labeled and available to homeowners.
Expanding irregular patches of dead grass provide the first clue that cinch bugs are present. The grass may give the appearance that you would normally associate with drought. Damage can develop rapidly, especially in sunny locations during hot, dry weather.
Adult cinch bugs are small and slender (1/5 of an inch long). They have black bodies with white wings. Each wing has a distinct, triangular black mark.
The first step when using a pesticide for cinch bug control is to determine whether a problem really exists. Look for off-color areas, especially in direct sun and along sidewalks and driveways. With a close-up inspection, cinch bugs may be seen walking on leaves or scurrying about the sidewalk.
When visible damage is abundant, insecticide use can prevent further injury. Both liquid and granular insecticides are available for cinch bug control.
In cases where cinch bugs are found in isolated areas of the lawn, use spot treatments. Treat the off-colored turf and all surrounding areas. Inspect the site every 2-3 days for at least 2 weeks to determine if the infestation is under control. Spot treatments minimize the impact of pesticides on beneficial insects and help avoid environmental contamination.
When applying pesticides, always read the label to see what appropriate clothing should be worn and for information concerning safe re-entry times.