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
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.
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.
Sprinkle diazinon granules around all structures. Apply the granules in a 5-foot band around the building.
Banks Mite and Brown Wheat Mite Control
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.
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.
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.