Chinch Bugs or Fungus In St Augustine Grass

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DEW80, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. DEW80

    DEW80 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    My lawn guys says chinch bugs, my pest control lawn services says fungus, I called Tru green and they are 99% sure its chinch bugs ( over the phone ) How do I tell? I am in Ft Lauderdale FL
     
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,174

    A quick check is to get a coffee can. Cut the bottom out so that it looks like a large metal tube. Cut it into the ground with a circular motion. Then fill it with water. If you have clinch bugs, they will float to the surface. This is not a end-all test and really should have a pro to check the turf. SHOULD you find 3 or more bugs (DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE) then you can start with some Sevin to begin to slow them but still need them sprayed. If you do not see anything after 1/2 hours, you may have another problem. Too numerous to mention without hands on knowledge.
    What is the conditions of your turf? Could you post some photographs? Check for a independent professional applicator in the phone book or go by Lesco/John Deere and ask for the name of a reliable professional that could check your lawn. He may charge you $50-100 for the service, but at least you will get the truth. Ask to see his license and how many years he has been in business in that area and if possible to see a lawn that he manages.
     
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,943

    I know why Tru Green is pushing the chinch bug conclusion. They are being greedy scheisters who think your wallet is open. Let me explain. The conventional treatment for chinch bug is about $1-2 per thousand sq ft and takes less than a minute to apply, bifenthrin granules. I have issues with this protocol on several levels even if you actually do have chinch bug. Should your lawn have leaf spot or decline, the correct treatment costs much more per thousand sq ft and takes some time and work to apply correctly. Tru Green stands to make a lot of money off of you by just slinging bifenthrin granules and being in and out of your lawn in a few minutes. Heritage, Insignia or Eagle EW applied in 2-3 gallons per 1000 in such a way to completely cover the turf surface. I do this type of application routinely, as well as an effective treatment for chinch bug. I also do not run my business like Triu Green or any other large company. Unfortunately, I am over 3000 miles from Boca Raton.
     
  4. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,174

    This lawn was brought back from decline just this growing season. Fungus will wipe out a lawn quickly. Listen to Greendoctor--You'll be glad you did. Also, I don't mow but do water in my fertilize in after application and take photos at the end of the season; looks like this lawn owner could use a blade sharpening. Roy Untitled-1.jpg

    Untitled-1.jpg

    lawn (2).jpg
     
  5. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,068

    i will give you some info RIC gave me about fungus..on one of the runners there should be one blade that comes out at the end of the runner grab that blade and pull lighty if it comes out real easy you have fungus...what have you done to the lawn over the last several months ? fert ? or you can do the coffee can check like roy said and see if you have those little chinch bugs...like green dr said chich bugs are pretty cheap to treat but fungus is very high to treat and wipe out a lawn quick .....

    have you guys gotten alot of rain?
     
  6. DEW80

    DEW80 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Your pictures don't load. there is a DISTINCT difference beween chinch bug damage and any type of fungus, though. The chinch bug damage will leave fibrous tears in the crown to stem area, cutting off the plants ability to circulate water. If it is some type of fungus, aside from possibly having some type of slime, web, powder, or mildew on it (not necessarily any of these), it may have spots on the leaves around that area. You have to pull a few that are discolored just slightly, and look very close at them. look for spots, lesions, stripes, or discoloration. the tru-brown guys can't tell you the difference between insect damage or a disease, if their career or life depended on it. they can sure rattle OFF some good soundin' crap though, and make it SOUND as if they almost know what they're talking about!
    Get some pics up (up close), and we can probably tell you just what you need.
     
  8. DEW80

    DEW80 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

  9. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,068

    normally with chinch bugs you get a yellowing of the blade..up one side....i don't see that in any of the pics....how was this turf mantained? when was the last time it was fertilized? give us some history on it....
     
  10. DEW80

    DEW80 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Honestly I dont do any of the maintaining. I have a lawn guy that comes every 2 weeks , every 3 weeks in the winter.

    The last time I fertilized it was about 8 months ago.

    Help me what should I do?
     

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