Featured Article | GreenCast | Syngenta

Tips for managing invasive chinch bugs

By Matt Giese, technical services manager for Syngenta

Warm days and cool nights are a good indicator spring is near, which means lawn insects like chinch bugs are becoming more active. While damage to turfgrass isn’t always noticed until hot, dry spells occur during the summer, adults become active in warm and cool season turfgrasses, during warm, spring days. Adults and nymphs can cause damage that looks like drought or moisture stress in lawns in early-to-late summer.

After the eggs hatch, nymphal instars and young adults can be found on sidewalks, driveways or foundation walls. Once they feed on turf, they become very difficult to find, hiding deep in the turfgrass canopy and thatch when disturbed. Fortunately, flotation sampling (a method involving inserting a bottomless gallon can into the soil surface and adding water to count the chinch bugs that float to the surface) can help identify chinch bug incidence and life stage, and, if performed regularly, provide clues to the level of infestation for current and subsequent seasons.

Meridian® 25WG insecticide provides foliar and systemic control of multiple chinch bug species. When applying preventively before feeding damage occurs, its active ingredient thiamethoxam translocates inside the plant and works via ingestion and contact activity against piercing, sucking insects like chinch bugs. For extended, season-long control, Meridian 25WG can be an effective rotation product in a comprehensive chinch bug management program. Alternatively, Meridian 0.33G insecticide is also available as a spreadable granule, and is packaged in a 40 lb. bag.

TimingLabel claim
Meridian 25WG 
17.0 fl. oz./ A
Nymphs & young adults 
Preventive or as needed 
Meridian 0.33G
80 lb./A
Nymphs & young adults
Preventive or as needed    
Scimitar® GC
10 fl. oz./A
All life stages
As needed based on scouting observations 
8-20 fl. oz./A 
Nymphs & young adults 
Caravan® G
120 lb./A
Nymphs & young adults 
Preventive or as needed

Source: Frederick Baxendale, 1999.

Source: Clemson University, 2013.

Additional options for managing chinch bugs

Additional offerings for managing chinch bugs include Scimitar GC insecticide, Caravan G insecticide/fungicide or Acelepryn® insecticide:

  • The proprietary formulation technology of Scimitar GC encapsulates the active ingredient, lambda-cyhalothrin, in small polymer capsules to protect it from the degrading effects of pH, sunlight and UV light. The result is effective control of insects in turf, even after extended outdoor exposure.
  • When you need to combat insect and disease pressure simultaneously, Caravan G offers an insecticide and fungicide in one convenient product. It contains the same active ingredient found in Meridian, and is complemented by the active ingredient in Heritage® fungicide. While timing may vary by location, an application of Caravan G can offer chinch bug control and three weeks of preventive brown patch control.
  • Acelepryn effectively suppresses chinch bug populations and fits well within a lawn care program. It is also an industry standard for grub and caterpillar control, with proven performance in a variety of geographical locations. In IRAC group 28 (anthranilic diamides), the unique class of chemistry and novel mode of action make Acelepryn a great resistance management tool for pyrethroid- and/or neonicotinoid-insensitive chinch bug species. For added convenience, Acelepryn is available in a half-gallon suspension concentrate, and as a granular formulation in a 25 lb. bag.

No matter which geography is most relevant for your business, Syngenta has a solution for your chinch bug control needs. For more information, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.

©2020 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Scimitar GC is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Acelepryn is a Restricted Use Pesticide in the state of Hawaii. Acelepryn®, Caravan®, Heritage®, Meridian®, Scimitar® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.

Want to receive articles like this in your inbox each month?

Sign-up now to get tips and new product information to stay ahead of the game with Syngenta.

* Indicates required field

Email Subscriptions