Sometimes big problems come in teeny tiny sizes. Mites are small garden pests that can be easily overlooked, that is until you see their effect. You’ll see their damage to your lawn immediately– mites can wreak havoc on your labored-over stretch of greenery. Three main types of mite are responsible for causing extreme problems amongst most grass types. These are the Clover Mites, Banks Grass Mite, and the Brown Wheat Mite. If left untreated for too long your lawn may not be able to recover and seeding or sodding may be the only option. To protect your lawn now there are a few things you should do, and can easily do.
Lawn mites feed in areas that are stressed from drought. Damage begins to occur in winter months continuing into spring. Watering your lawn over the winter when it’s dry will help keep the mites at bay. Pay special attention to hot spots around trees, evergreens, and sloped areas, as well as south and west facing areas of your lawn that receive direct sun. These areas will lose water more quickly due to evaporation, which increases the likelihood that mites will attack.
Another important element to prevention or treatment of lawn mites is early detection. Mites are very small but still discernable with the naked eye; a magnifying lens should be used to properly identify them. Mites are arachnids more closely related to ticks than spiders. Common areas where lawn mites will feed on are on the south and west-facing areas, slopes, around trees and edges of turf that border concrete or stone where the sun reflects heat.
Most damage can also be controlled by ensuring excellent lawn health from good lawn care practices. In many cases this allows the lawn to out-compete and out-survive any damage caused by mites, quickly repairing itself as the damage is actually occurring so mite damage becomes barely noticeable or not noticeable at all in our lawn care routines.
Due to their need to shed skin and lay eggs in other areas, mites can invade homes and become quite a nuisance. Early control can avert not only lawn problems but indoor invasions as well. Migrations of mites into buildings can be largely deterred by keeping grass and other host plants away from the base of the foundations. Usually, a plant-free barrier of about three feet will be sufficient, although sometimes this may also be crossed.
If an infestation has occurred, lawn care can be supplemented with spot spray treatments of insecticides in those areas where mites have developed. However, they are not fully effective on all types of mites. Species such as Clover Mites and Banks Grass Mite can be extremely difficult to kill with insecticides, while the other problem mites such as the Brown Wheat Mite can be more easily killed and controlled by these insecticides.
Lawn mites reproduce very quickly building large populations and causing damage that will require costly re-sodding or re-seeding to repair. It’s important to make sure your lawn isn’t having the life sucked out of it, literally! We offer an excellent lawn care program that’s designed to keep your lawn healthy over the course of the dryer fall, winter, and spring periods. Good’s Tree and Lawn Care will provide service to control annual grassy weeds, broadleaf weeds, lawn insects above and below the soil, and provide nutrients to keep your lawn healthy and green.