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False Chinch Bugs

False chinch bugs are small, grey to black bugs that commonly feed on plants in the mustard family.  Favored plants include mustard greens, canola and radish; however, they have been known to feed on species outside of the mustard family including lettuce and potato.  Overwintering adults are common on flixseed, a weed commonly associated with alfalfa crops. Eggs are laid in the spring when weather warms to a point in which development can be sustained.  Nymphs are wingless and grey in color although they may have patterning on their backs. Thousands of false chinch bugs may be found at a single time on a host plant, which when this occurs may result in wilt or death of the plant due to their sap sucking feeding habits.  High amounts of damage are uncommon with false chinch bugs.  Residential and structural infestations occur when hot, dry weather occurs leaving the false chinch bugs in search of cooler climate and higher humidity.  Insecticides have little to no effect on these infestations and should be avoiding.  Sealing up entry points is typically the best method in controlling these random infestations.  False chinch bug infestations inside of buildings are typically short lived as populations normally die off in approximately a week after becoming trapped inside.  No damage occurs within structures, nor do the false chinch bugs possess the ability to bite.