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Public Service Announcement

Chinch Bug Causing Concern for Some Homeowners

(Tuesday, August 12/2003)-- HRM Customer Service Centres are experiencing a surge in permit applications from lawn care companies to spray for chinch bug on residential lawns.

HRM believes the following information regarding this common lawn pest would be helpful for property owners:

  • The best defense against chinch bug is a healthy soil and turf, as well as sufficient depth of soil .Many of the permit requests for chinch bug infestation are coming in from areas with poorer quality and or insufficient soil depths.
  • Sustainable maintenance practices, such as top-dressing , aeration , proper watering and raising the mowing height to 6-7 cm. can also make a substantial difference in preventing and/or dramatically reducing damage from this pest .
  • Most chinch bug damage is caused by the nymph stage, which is mostly over now. The insect overwinters in the adult stage, which at this time of year is trying to find cover from natural predators, such as birds which feed on the pest . Naturally- occurring fungal diseases also help decimate adult populations during cool wet weather . Cold winter temperatures later on will also further reduce any surviving numbers.
  • Removal of some of the top layer of thatch in the lawn during annual Fall lawn maintenance will also capture chinch bugs that have migrated there for Winter . Healthy soils and turf, combined with sustainable landscape maintenance practices, are homeowner's best line of defense against chinch bug--- with natural predators helping to reduce any overwintering adult populations .
  • HRM has considerable information available on-line about sustainable alternatives and chinch bug damage prevention at: and follow the Naturally Green links.


    Stephen King
    Manager -Senior Advisor
    Environmental Management Services
    (902) 490-6188

    Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.