Those Little Bugs on Your Rock Wall Are Called Chinch Bugs – Here’s How To Get Rid Of Them
We're only in the middle of May but El Pasoans have endured a moth invasion of bibilical proportions and now we are dealing with an infestation of little bugs that seem to love moving in on rock walls and making them look like they are alive.
Earlier this year, right as we were all locking down because of the coronavirus, there were suddenly a gazillion Miller moths flying around outside and getting into our houses. I hit a person Miller moth kill number of 11 in my house a few weeks ago. It was disgusting and it trained me to get in and out of my house in mere seconds to avoid letting those little buggers in. We got such an infestation of Miller moths because they lay their eggs in the fall but because it didn't get cold this winter, none of them were killed and bazillions of them were born.
Fast forward to last week when out of the clear blue sky people started taking to social media to post pictures of yucky little bugs that had invaded their yards and rock walls. Turns out they're called false chinch bugs and our desert environment is exactly what they like. They like grassy or weedy fields and foothills of mountains. When the spring weeds and early grasses dry up in the heat, the bugs need to find a new source of food and apparently they like to do that all at once just to terrify us.
So how the heck do you get rid of them?
The El Paso Master Gardeners say that you can spray them with a soapy water mixture because it melts their exoskelton. Oh my God that sounds disgusting, and worse, it can also kill beneficial bugs with exoskeletons.
If you try to spray them with insecticides, it might make the problem worse because you'll also kill beneficial bugs that feed on false chinch bugs. You can go the natural route and release ladybugs or lacewings into your yard so they can eat the chinch bugs. You can buy ladybugs at garden stores or online and your kids will love to release them in your backyard. YOu can also use organic diatomaceous earth. It's a powder that you spread it around your yard that kills the chinch bugs as they climb through it.
Or you can just wait because eventually they will all die through their natural life cycle. Yay bugs.