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.
Cats scratch wood and upholstery to exercise and to sharpen their claws. If your cat doesn’t have access to trees, provide a scratching post to prevent furniture damage.
The post should be stable and tall enough for the cat to stretch out. It can be a bark-covered log or a 2 x 2 nailed to a base of 1/2-inch plywood and covered with burlap or a piece of wool carpet. Attract your cat to the post by rubbing catnip on the post or by attaching a toy on a string to the top of the post.
To prevent an infestation, deprive roaches of their needs: food, moisture, and hiding places. Put all food in the refrigerator or in metal, glass, or plastic containers. Keep counters, shelves, and floors immaculate. Fix leaky plumbing; wring out and dry sponges and dish towels.
Caulk openings around pipes, appliance connections, and cabinets. Clean under low furniture and appliances.
If an infestation does occur, take these steps simultaneously: 1. puff boric acid powder into wall openings and under low equipment; 2. after removing all food and utensils, spray suspected hiding places and paths with a household formulation of malathion, chlorpyrifos, or diazinon or with a commercial roach spray.