As one of the smaller pests to strike your landscape, chinch bugs often escape detection until late in the game. They damage turf in both their immature, wingless nymph stages and as adults.

The reddish nymphs start out smaller than a pinhead, but quickly mature in size and appetite. A single whitish band circles their waist. As nymphs mature, they grow darker in color until they turn gray.

Common adult chinch bugs measure about 1/6 to 1/4 inch. Their black bodies have white front wings marked with a black spot each. Folded in place, the wings display a distinctive hourglass design. Some chinch bugs have full wings; some have half wings. Some fly and some do not. 


As adult chinch bugs feed on lawns, their mouthparts pierce grasses and suck out plant juices. They also release a toxin that prevents plant fluids from flowing normally. Large irregular patches of lawn turn yellow and brown. Sometimes, grass gets a purplish tint. It may look like drought, but watering doesn't help.

To confirm whether chinch bugs are behind your problems, find a magnifying glass. Spread the grass and zero in on the thatch line. You'll see chinch bugs easily as they congregate, even though they're small. On sunny days, you'll often find them on sidewalks and driveways. They're easy to see there as well.


If you've had chinch bug problems in the past, be proactive. Treat early in the year to prevent lawn damage before these rapid reproducers get out of hand. Amdro® brand offers several products that kill chinch bugs quickly to protect against chinch bug damage:

  • Amdro Quick Kill® Outdoor Insect Killer, available in ready-to-spray and concentrate formulas, works in minutes to kill chinch bugs by contact and keeps protecting against listed pests for up to three months.* The ready-to-spray option attaches to a regular garden hose. Dilute the concentrate and use it with a standard lawn sprayer.
  • Amdro Quick Kill Lawn Insect Killer Granules II, applied with a standard lawn spreader, kill chinch bugs within 24 hours and keep working for up to three months. Lightly water the treated area after application to release the active ingredient and reach adults and nymphs.
  • Amdro Quick Kill Home Perimeter Insect Killer Granules create a ring of protection around your home and the outdoor areas where you entertain. The easy-to-use granules kill chinch bugs by contact and keep working for up to the months. For best results, water the area after application.


Chinch bugs spend winter in grassy areas and leafy lawn and garden debris. In spring, they emerge, mate and feed. Keep your lawn and landscape well-maintained and excel at fall clean-ups. Eliminate chinch wintering spots, and treat early in the year.

* Except fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes

Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully, including application rates.
Amdro and Amdro Quick Kill are registered trademarks of Central Garden & Pet Company.

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