Are the grass mites sucking the life out of your lawn, literally? Grass mites are scientifically known as Neotrombicula autumnalis, as all mites belong to the Arachnida class. Small but dangerous, mites are tiny pests that, if left untreated, can bring severe damage to your lawn.
Within a short while of lawn mite infestation, the damage is visible on the greenery. Mites use their biting mouthparts to feed on grass blades and roots to death. Also, mite infestation causes discoloration on the turfgrass, making a homeowner mistake it for typical winter damage.
Please find out more about how to kill grass Mites in this article to be sure of the problem at hand and how to fix it.
How to Tell If Your Lawn Has Mites
Mites are tiny lawn pests that are nearly impossible to see with naked eyes but clear with the help of a binocular lens. They hide on the lawn when bothered hence making them even harder to trace.
Three types of mites regularly plague turf grass: the bank mite, brown mite, and clover mite. Drought affected areas are the best for lawn mite infestations. Usually, the mites launch attack on the turfgrass during winter till spring periods.
During spring and the vegetation is greening up, you will begin to notice the mite damage. Injured sections will not turn green and appear in unevenly-shaped patches, whereas; the rest of the turf will be green. At this time, the mites have already finished feeding on the grass, making it too late to eliminate them.
Common areas to find mites are along the slopes, west, and the south-facing regions, around turf edges where the sun heats and trees. Since the lawn mites reproduce at a high rate forming significant populations, their havoc on your turfgrass will be so severe. It will cost you to re-seed when repairing.
Do Lawn Mites Bite?
Mites do not bite humans and are usually harmless, but they cause itching, swelling, and pain if they remain on the skin. Most people overlook a mite bite until they see a small lump on their skin or feel irritation on the skin.
Clover mites may cause panic to house owners as they move in thousands as they enter a home. Usually, they enter into a home if their food plants are dry or removed. Even though they don’t bite or affect your health in any way, they can be an annoyance in your home. They creep under carpets and drapes, and when crushed, they stain red on the surface.
Conversely, chiggers are a type of mites that bite humans. Though they live in the grass with the grass mites, they do not feed on plants, hence not bringing danger to your lawn. They will attach themselves to a host for up to 4 days. Once full, they detach and live on another host. Their bites appear around the ankles and the knees’ back, where the skin is most delicate. They are similar to mosquito bites. When they bite you, chiggers leave fluid-like saliva on your skin to cause irritation and red swellings.
You will find chiggers hanging out on the grass blades or leaves searching for a host and thriving in summer temperatures. Since they are also small, you will not know what bit you until you start to swell and itch after being on the grass.
If you love going outdoors on the grass for long, it is good to protect yourself against chigger bites. Put on clothes, preferably woolen, that covers your skin. Apply an insect repellent to keep them away. Even though the bites are itchy, try as much as possible to avoid scratching as this will cause a rash. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/prevent-treat-chigger-bites
NOTE: Chiggers do not suck blood; instead, they prick into the skin, injecting skin-digesting saliva then sup the liquefied skin.
How to Kill Grass Mites
You kill grass mites according to the specific type. For instance;
Clover Mites Control
A mature clover mite is reddish-brown with the front legs as long as its body is spreading forward.
Follow the following steps to kill this danger to your lawn.
- Soak the turfgrass area infested with clover mites. Also, saturate any other place that you find at risk of their attacks, such as walls and other vegetation about 25 ft. around your home.
- A lawn mite killer insecticide with an active ingredient of lambda-cyhalothrin or bifenthrin is the best preference. Use it to treat the injured sections during the fall season when the sun is hottest.
- Apply diazinon particles everywhere the structures. Sprinkle the granules in a spacing manner of 5ft. Band.
- Repeat the process if necessary.
Brown Wheat Mite and Banks Mite Control
Banks mites have oval bodies and are either green or brown. Like most arachnids, they also have four pairs of legs with dark spots (reddish-brown) from the head to both sides of the abdomen. The positioning of the abdominal marks distinguishes them from the two-spotted spider mites. They have no wings.
On the other hand, Brown Wheat mites are tiny, oval-shaped dark red bodies with light orange legs. Their front one pair of legs is twice longer than the other three pairs.
How do you get rid of these two types of mites? Read on.
- During the spring and fall periods, control the banks mites by watering the lawn frequently. You can also wet in the winter season to inhibit thriving banks and brown wheat mites in the forthcoming spring period. By all means, do not let your grass stay dry and dehydrated.
- Use a lawn mite insecticide containing dicofol, sulfur, or bifenthrin on the mite-infested area. Moreover, you can use insecticide-treated soaps and horticultural oils to control these mite pests on your lawn. Remember, before using any chemicals, read the label, and follow the application guidelines.
- A health lawn will manage and keep off all types of infestations, including mites. The areas injured extensively need re-seeding of fresh grass and prompt maintenance.
Mites are dangerous pests because of their tiny size, short life phases, and capacity to rise in numbers quickly.
Simple and regular lawn care routines out-do and repair in case of any damage occurring on your lawn. Mite cases will become hardly noticeable if you maintain healthy lawn practices. Mites’ damage causes poor and weak grounds that will cost more to conserve and repair.
The most crucial element to consider to lawn mites’ problem is timing. Early detection and control will not only prevent lawn problems but indoor attacks as well.