Mites are tiny and invisible to the naked eye. There are many types of mites, and some of them can ruin your lawn. Some types of mites eat human and animal skin. Others eat plants, including grass.
Some mites can jump from the grass to your skin and cause redness and irritation. Others won’t bite you but can kill your lawn. Since there are mites all over the world, you could easily end up with a mite problem at some point.
How You Can Tell If Mites Are Harming Your Lawn?
If lawn mites are killing your grass, your lawn will turn yellowish or straw-colored in irregularly shaped patterns. Mites are tiny, so you will need a magnifying glass to see them.
When you notice that mites are eating part of your lawn, you need to quarantine them. If you dig a trench around the part of the lawn the mites have infested, you can keep it from spreading. If you don’t quarantine the mites, you might lose all of your lawn.
How to get rid of lawn mites?
Keeping your lawn healthy and well-maintained will make it harder for mites to multiply. You can also use insecticides to kill mites or even release predatory mites to control the population.
1. Regular Watering
Anything that keeps your lawn healthy can correct a weed or pest problem. If you don’t water your lawn often, weeds will grow because they can survive with less water than grass. If you keep your grass healthy and thick by watering it, weeds won’t be able to take root in the soil.
Watering your lawn in the winter is a great way to prevent a mite infestation. If you keep your lawn watered even in the winter, it won’t dry out, and mites won’t be able to multiply. Keeping animals out of your yard can also help prevent a mite problem because animals bring mites with them.
2. Remove Grassy Weeds
Removing grassy weeds is another natural way of getting rid of or preventing a mite infestation. Mites may take over if there is a good environment for them to survive in. You will prevent the mites from multiplying if you remove grassy weeds, cut the lawn short, and avoid leaving clippings on the grass.
3. Dethatch Your Lawn in Spring
If the thatch in your lawn is too thick, your grass won’t grow as well as it should. If the soil is compacted, nutrients, air, and water won’t be able to move into the roots of your grass. This will make your lawn unhealthy, and an unhealthy lawn is vulnerable to a mite infestation.
Thatch is bits of grass that have died just above the soil. These bits of grass can build up over time until nutrients cannot pass through the thatch into the soil. You need to remove the thatch once in a while to keep your lawn healthy.
To fix compacted soil, you need to aerate your lawn. Lawn aeration is loosening the soil so that air can get through. You can rent a lawn core aerator to aerate your lawn quickly. Do this at a time when your grass is growing fast so that it can recover quickly.
Aerating your lawn only once a year or even less than that can keep your lawn healthier. Water your lawn thoroughly before you aerate it.
Sometimes, thatch is good for your lawn, so you do not need to dethatch it as soon as you notice any thatch. However, if the thatch is more than about 3/4s of an inch thick, it can lead to pest and disease problems. If you already have a mite problem, dethatching may help.
You might rent a power rake to dethatch it or even hire a lawn service to do it for a larger lawn. You can use a dethatching rake if you have a smaller lawn or don’t mind spending some time. You use a dethatching rake like you use a normal rake, with the tines pulling the thatch upward and loosening it.
Watch out for things like sprinklers or anything else buried under your grass if you use a dethatcher. Read the instructions carefully. A dethatcher is a somewhat heavy and powerful piece of equipment.
4. Remove Debris and Dead Weeds in Fall
Mites and mite eggs can hide in debris left on your lawn at the end of the year. Remove things like leaves, sticks, and dead weeds.
5. Release Predatory Mites
You can also buy predatory mites to add to your lawn. After you scatter the predatory but harmless mites on your lawn, they will kill the harmful mites you have a problem with.
Use predatory mites instead of rather than in addition to chemicals. If you first use predatory mites and then use chemicals, your predatory mites will be vulnerable to the insecticide.
6. Use High-Pressure Water Spray
You can even use a high-pressure jet of water to push mites off of your plants. Make sure the water hits every part of the plant. Spray the water underneath each leaf as well as on top of each. Mites on your leafy plants can spread to your grass and all over your yard.
7. Use Soaps/Oils/Insecticides to Kill Mites
Insecticides aren’t always the best ways to kill mites because the mites can survive a lot of the time. Chemicals work well to kill weeds, but mites not so much.
However, insecticides combined with other methods can be effective, and they might work on their own. Insecticides do work, but it might take more than quickly spraying some chemicals to get rid of mites. Combine insecticides with natural methods like quarantining the mite infestation and watering your lawn more often.
You can also use insecticidal oils to kill mites. Rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and neem oil can all kill insects, including lawn mites. Lawn care products made out of natural oils can work better than insecticides because they are healthier for your lawn.
Insecticidal soaps also exist. Insecticidal soaps are cheap, safe, not harmful to plants/animals, and quite effective. These soaps can even kill harmful insects while leaving beneficial insects alive.
Eric West is the founder of improvethelawn.com and has been blogging since 2009. His mission is to make lawn care and landscaping easy for everyone.