How to Kill Grass Mites

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Things You'll Need

  • Insecticide that contains bifenthrin or lambda-cyhalothrin

  • Diazinon granules

  • Insecticide that contains bifenthrin, sulfur or dicofol

  • Horticultural oil

  • Insecticidal soap

  • Grass seed

Tip

Mites cannot flourish in a lawn that receives regular water and fertilizer applications. Keep grass away from a home's foundation to prevent clover mites from invading the house.
Seal and caulk all exterior holes and gaps in the home to prevent the mites from invading the house. Clover mites appear in shades of reddish or brown to dark green. Banks mites appear green, but if they start to die they turn bright red. Brown wheat mites have a brown coloration.

Warning

Keep children and pets away from any area that has been treated with an insecticide.

Avoid drought stress to prevent mites.

A homeowner will often mistake a mite infestation for natural winter damage on the turfgrass. Mites cause brown patches to occur on the lawn. Three types of mites regularly beset turfgrass: the clover mite, banks mite and brown mite. The pests create the most extensive damage to grass during times of drought or when the turfgrass suffers stress. The banks mite is the most destructive of the three types of mites, according to Colorado State University. The mite infestation will progress quickly and the turfgrass will suffer sever dieback if not promptly treated.

Clover Mite Control

Step 1

Saturate the area of the turfgrass that suffers from clover mites. Apply the water to problem locations where clover mites regularly reside, such as in dry areas at the base of sun-exposed walls, around evergreens shrubs and at least 25 feet out from the home's foundation.

Step 2

Treat the damaged area with an insecticide that contains bifenthrin or lambda-cyhalothrin in the fall months. Saturate all outside walls, around the home's foundation, the foundation's surface and all damaged areas of the lawn with the insecticide during the hottest part of the day. The University of Minnesota suggests spraying least 25 feet out from and all around the house to effectively control the mites.

Step 3

Sprinkle diazinon granules around all structures. Apply the granules in a 5-foot band around the building.

Banks Mite and Brown Wheat Mite Control

Step 1

Water the grass regularly, especially during the spring and fall months to help control banks mites. Apply water in the winter months to prevent banks mites and brown wheat mites from occurring in the spring. Avoid allowing the grass to suffer drought.

Step 2

Apply an insecticide that contains bifenthrin, sulfur or dicofol to the infested area. Horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps can also control the pests. Follow the directions on the label for application instructions.

Step 3

Re-seed areas of the grass that suffer extensive damage from the banks mites and brown wheat mites. Maintaining a healthy lawn will help control and prevent the mites.

references & resources

Kimberly Sharpe

Based in Oregon, Kimberly Sharpe has been a writer since 2006. She writes for numerous online publications. Her writing has a strong focus on home improvement, gardening, parenting, pets and travel. She has traveled extensively to such places as India and Sri Lanka to widen and enhance her writing and knowledge base.