False Chinch Bug
False chinch bug (Russ Ottens, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org)
False chinch bugs (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)
False chinch bug nymphs and adults (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)
- 1/8 – 1/6 inch long
- grayish brown and slender
- overlapping wings form an “X” shape on the back
- strawlike mouthparts used to suck plant sap
- immatures lack wings and are mottled gray with reddish markings
- lay eggs around the base of plants or in loose soil
- aggregate in large numbers on plants or exterior walls
- migrate to new sites, including homes and buildings, when food sources dry up, are harvested (e.g., alfalfa) or are treated with herbicide
- feed on a wide variety of plants, including turfgrass
- nuisance pest
- invade buildings to escape hot, dry weather when host plants dry up or are removed
- cannot survive indoors for long
- Temporarily discontinue watering plants near the building during problem migrations to encourage the bugs to seek cool, humid conditions elsewhere.
- Find and seal any exterior cracks to prevent entry.
- Control is not needed for small numbers.
- Chemical control is ineffective against false chinch bugs due to chemical resistance.