How to Protect Your Lawn from Lawn Mites

Try Lawn care takes a lot of work, and lawn mites can turn a beautiful green lawn into a brown and dying lawn. Thankfully, these tips can help you get rid of lawn mites, and protect your lawn from mite problems in the future.

What Are Lawn Mites

Lawn mites are usually about the size of a speck of dust and do most of their damage in early to mid-spring. Lawn mites can damage and kill large sections of your lawn. They kill the lawn by literally sucking the life out of the grass turning it brown.

Even during the winter, their eggs will hatch during the fall, and continue to hatch into late winter.

The most popular type of lawn mites are:

  • Clover mites: Breed and cause much of their damage from February through mid-May. Their damage is usually mistaken for winter kill and is usually on the warmer south sides of the home.
  • Banks grass mites: These mites are found throughout the growing season and are the most destructive type of mite. The damage they do to the lawn progresses quickly, especially during drought conditions.
  • Brown wheat mites: Do their damage mainly during dry winters or drought conditions. Unlike other mites, their damage is not clustered near the home.

One way you can tell if you have lawn mites is to look for them on blades of grass with a magnifying glass. You can also rub a sheet of white paper over the grass. If you see rust-colored streaks, you have clover mites. Look for the mites on green grass since the mites will leave the dead areas looking for more food.

Thankfully, there are lawn management tips that can help you protect your lawn from lawn mites.

Watering the Lawn to Control Lawn Mites

Lawn mites don’t like water, which is why they do so much damage during dry weather and droughts. If you’ve had dry weather during the winter, make sure to water the lawn, the trees, around foundations, retaining walls and the warmer areas that face the sun.

Continue to water until there is appreciable snow or rain. Lawn mites thrive during dry conditions, especially if the lawn is already stressed from drought.

Using Miticides to Protect Your Lawn from Lawn Mites

There are several kinds of miticides that are used to kill lawn mites and will depend on the type of mite you want to control.

For clover mites use the following steps:

  • Step 1: Water the affected areas to the point of saturation. These areas include the base of foundations out to 25 feet, and under evergreen shrubs. Pay particular attention to the side of your home that faces the sun.
  • Step 2: Apply an insecticide or miticide that contains lambda-cyhalothrin or Bifenthrin during the fall months. Cover all outside walls, the foundation surface, and the affected areas of the lawn out to 25 feet. This is best done during the warmest time of the day.
  • Step 3: Apply diazinon granules around the home out to 5 feet.

For banks grass mites and brown wheat mites, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Water the lawn normally, especially during dry or drought conditions in the fall and winter.
  • Step 2: Apply a miticide that contains bifenthrin, sulfur or dicofol to the affected areas. If you prefer, you can use horticultural oils on the affected areas.
  • Step 3: Reseed the areas that were damaged or killed by the banks grass mites.

Maintaining a healthy lawn, especially during dry and drought conditions should help protect your lawn from future lawn mite problems.