Chinch Bug, an insect, related to the bedbug and the squash bug, noted for its destructive effect in grain fields. The adults, about one-sixth of an inch (4 mm) long, are blackish with white wing covers. They spend the winter in clumps of grass, straw, or other refuse. The first eggs are laid in early spring on roots or the lower part of cornstalks or other grain stems. The red, wingless young, or nymphs, are hatched in about 12 days.

Chinch bugsChinch bugs lay eggs on cornstalks or other grain stems.

The nymphs feed on the juices of grains. Two months after the laying of the eggs, the entire generation—numbering millions in a badly infested field—leaves for new fields.

The advancing chinch bugs can be stopped by spraying chemical barriers, 40 to 50 feet (12 to 15 m) wide, in the path of their migration. The most effective defense is the development of new crop varieties that resist the insects' attack.

Which True Bugs Love Corn?

Chinch bugs love to suck the fluids of corn plants. These true bugs also feed on other grain plants, such as barley, rye, and wheat. That’s what makes these bugs pests to farmers. When grain stops growing and begins to ripen, the juices inside the plants dry up. So, chinch bugs must find new sources of food. Often they move to newly planted corn fields. Since the corn plants are still growing, there is plenty of juice to feed on.

The chinch bug is Blissus leucopterus of the family Lygaeidae and the order Hemiptera.