Couch Mites - Aceria cynodoniensis
It is at this time of year we turn our attention to a pest known as couch mite. Couch mites are a miniscule pest attracted to turf varieties, now don’t be fooled by there size the damage they can do to your lawn will pack a punch if left untreated. Couch mites themselves can’t be seen by the human eye and a microscope will be required yet the damage that presents is easiest way to tell if you are under assault from these pests.
The term witches’ broom is commonly used by many in the turf industry to describe the shape and formation of the plant once Couch mites have begun feeding as seen in the below photo.
Nestled in amongst the leaf sheaths of the plant is where these tiny pests can be found, whilst feeding Couch Mites inject a toxin that suppresses growth and deforms the plant, the witches’ broom appearance also discolours and becomes course under foot that detracts from the rest of the lawn.
Couch mites can populate very quickly, from mid-spring their activity will start to where they can thrive and populate quickly during the higher summer temperatures.
Now don’t be fooled by the name Couch Mite meaning they are only attracted to couch varieties; this is not the case with Couch Mite damage being found in many different warm season turf varieties.
For those that have encountered Couch Mite damage in the past they are able to relate as to how disastrous the effects are to your lawn and how long the recovery process can take. Unfortunately, all the fertiliser you apply you are unable to mask the effects of Couch Mite with treatment your only course of action to prevent the spread to uninfected areas as they are easily trafficked.
Might be time to treat Mites.
Couch Mites can be chemically controlled once they appear, yet preventative applications become a far better way of protection helping to eliminate the risk of damage.
The product we recommend at LawnPride is Malice Duo which can be used as a preventative and curative for these pests, Malice Duo is best applied in mid-spring and summer to ensure turf safety.
Click here for more information on Malice Duo
Please ensure you read the product label and use correct personal protective equipment.