These tiny (1/8 inch long) black bugs with white wings suck the juices from the stems of grass and corn. They reproduce rapidly enlarged when temperatures exceed 70F Infestations of chinch bugs cause spreading irregular brown patches in otherwise green turf. Corn plants remain green but fail to produce good ears of corn.
To protect turf against attack, fertilize it before the weather gets warm; chinch bugs do more damage to underfed lawns. For corn, sow resistant varieties and protect the plant with a collar of building paper dug 1 inch into the soil.
Treat infested lawns with carbaryl, diazinon, or chlorpyrifos according to manufacturer’s instructions. If the soil isn’t damp, water the lawn first.