Chinch bugs can cause significant damage to grass by attacking and eating the root system. Grass that is being attacked by chinch bugs will show wilting, yellowing, and death, most often in grass located in warm sunny areas. To test for chinch bugs, cut both ends off a tin can, then push one end of the can into the soil to a depth of about 3 inches. Fill the can with water and watch for small black or brown insects about ¼ inch long to emerge or float to the top of the water within about ten minutes. Both the adults and juvenile nymphs feed on the grass roots and, when doing so, they inject the roots with a toxin that causes the yellowing and die-back.
Cut the grass short and then give the lawn a good watering by applying ½ to 1 inch of water to the lawn. The watering will bring the bugs to the surface. Immediately after the watering, spray the area with Bug Buster Pyrethrin Insect Spray. Repeat the treatment every two months, until late fall. In warm climates, treat year-round.