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Chinch Bugs in Caldwell, ID

The city of Caldwell was originally known as Hamburg, after blacksmith Jake Ham was first platted in 1883. During the late 1800s, Caldwell owed much of its growth to the construction of the Oregon Short Line Railroad which connected Granger, Wyoming to Huntington, Oregon. During the construction of the OSLRR, a construction camp for railroad workers was established near present-day Caldwell and the city shared the camp’s name of Bugtown in its early years.


While we at Weed Man are fans of our local history, we are even bigger fans of helping our customers have the best lawns possible and today, that means keeping Caldwell from becoming Bugtown again. In this case, we are talking about the small, speedy, lawn destroyer known as Chinch Bugs. Chinch Bugs are becoming an ever-increasing problem throughout the Treasure Valley, but we have noticed a lot of activity this year in the Caldwell area specifically.

The most important factor in controlling any lawn pest is understanding it's basic characteristics. Knowing this information will help us answer why they must attack our beautifully manicured lawns. Chinch Bugs feed on the leaves, stem, or crown of the grass plant by sucking out the plant fluids. As they eat, they inject a toxin into the plant that causes the blades to turn yellow, then brown prior to dying. Damage from Chinch Bugs can look like drought damage which is why these pests are so difficult to deal with in some cases. Identification is the key to success in the battle against these small insects, only 1/6 of an inch long and often difficult to see unless you know where to look.
A good method for identifying Chinch Bugs is to take a tin can and make it into a tube with the top and bottom cut out and then inserting the tube into an area where your once healthy grass looks like it has been affected. Fill the can with water and wait 5-10 minutes. If there are Chinch Bugs in this area, they will float to the surface of the water. Of course, if you don’t want to bother with this method, but still suspect you may have an insect issue, Weed Man can perform a free inspection and we will diagnose your turf accordinglu (no tin can required).

Chinch Bugs can have as many as three hatchings per year and cannot be treated for preventatively. This means that we rely on you, the homeowner, to be our partner in identification and call us immediately if you suspect they are using your lawn for their next meal. Chinch Bugs can devastate a normal residential lawn in a period of just three weeks, so please call us as soon as you suspect you have an issue and let us help you to keep your lawn from turning into Bugtown. We can be reached at (208) 888-9911.

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