Winnipeg is awash in rain this summer, but two years of warm, dry seasons have let a destructive pest run wild on city lawns.
The chinchbug, a tiny bug that sucks the moisture out of grass and spreads toxins through the blades, is wreaking havoc on Winnipeg lawns.
"We’re seeing the first generation hatching just this week," said Tim Muys, of Green Blade Lawn Care. "They are like vampires. They suck the juice out and leave a toxin."
Making matters worse, according to Muys, is the bug just moves on after destroying a lawn -- it doesn’t die right away.
Tammy Watson’s lawn has a growing infestation of the bug. She said this year she’ll probably just have to let it die and try again next year.
"For us, we’ll probably just re-seed and move on," she said. "I’m sure it’s a bigger deal to some people who are very, you know -- want their grass looking the dark, dark green."
Winnipegger Brian Duncan is one of those people. He used to own a garden centre and now takes great pains to keep his yard looking great.
"We want it to look green and lush, and if we can’t do that, what’s the point?" said Duncan. "It’s also the dollars of trying to replace the lawn."
Duncan is having Muys spray his lawn with an insecticide to protect it. Muys expects many more calls to come in, as over the last two years "the chinchbugs were laying eggs in the millions."
If you aren’t interested in paying for a treatment, water and dish soap can help to combat the bugs, says Muys.