Chinch bugs cause serious damage in the thick turf of lawns and golf courses. Dying or dead areas of a lawn can signal the presence of this pest. One that is called the ‘True’ Chinch Bug (Blissus leucopterus) is the one that is most commonly encountered. A closely related species is Blissus insularis, which is called the Southern Chinch Bug. Dry seasons seem to favor their spread and make their damage more noticeable. They tend to be more of a problem in southern Maine than in other parts of the state.
Chinch bugs go through two generations per year and do the greatest damage from mid-summer to early fall. The first generation starts to die in early fall. The second generation hibernates at the approach of cold weather in matted clippings and debris, or in loose soil near the root zone.