Enjoy the rain or snow everyone? It really helped our lawns green up. But in addition to helping our bluegrass, perennial rye, fine and tall fescue get going, it also highlights a problem of monumentally minuscule proportions: grass mites.
Dear heavens what havoc a tiny creature can wreak on a yard. Instead of the cheerful green of a spring day, homeowners are facing with a sobering reality: those little creatures sucked the life out of your grass. It’s left brittle and brown, with the added oddity of looking as if it was matted down by a weight of water.
Active in early spring and aggravated by warm, dry winters, evidence of their savagery is obvious on lawns with slight slopes facing south or west. Several mites can affect Colorado turf, for a run-down on the two biggest thugs check out the fact sheet CSU put out on mites.
Banks grass mite is the most destructive one to have, but clover mites consider your home their castle; they move in en masse through the windows. On the lawn things are grim, with small, white flecking (stippling) on leaves, or a bit of purpling on injured grass blades. The worst part is that damage spreads rapidly when it’s dry – a condition we were in up until a couple of weeks ago.
Check out the fact sheet, and then look at your lawn. If you’re seeing brown spots that haven’t been there before and appear on south or west exposure, think mites. But check to make sure – closely examine your grass, lying on your belly out there if you have to, to see if you can see the creatures. You may need a magnifying glass.
Better yet, get an expert. Many lawn care pros can spot a mite a block away…well, not really, but they are very good. Find a good company at the Colorado Association of Lawn Care Professionals.