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Lawn Spider Mite or Clover Mite Control: Lawn mites are very small insects that are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. During dry periods, particularly when mites are found indoors, they are a brick-red color. Mites feed on grass roots and blades with their rasping-sucking mouth parts and can damage the grass often to the point of death. In the Boulder and Fort Collins area lawn mites are usually found on the south facing sides of buildings, rock beds, sun exposed slopes and pine trees. The mites often feed on the grass from November to March during warm and dry weather and take shelter in pine trees and buildings during cold and wet weather. Mites tend to do the most damage to grass on south facing slopes between the months of December and March often with the peak damage occurring during February and March. Typically the damage is not discovered until after the lawn begins to green-up in the spring.
Application Method: Organo-Lawn’s special application of an organic insecticide called Ecotrol is the safest and best treatment for spider mites. Ecotrol is an EPA 25b exempt pesticide and is a 100% organic mite control and is also OMRI approved. Ecotrol is comprised of Rosemary Oil (10%), Peppermint Oil (2%) and Other Ingredients including Wintergreen Oil, Vanillin, Lecithin, and Butyl Lactate (88%) which penetrates the soft bodies of the mites destroying their protective exoskeleton. Each application must be performed while the insect is active and the application will kill the active mite population up to 85% per application. 1-3 applications of Ecotrol may be necessary depending on the population of the mites and the weather conditions of the year.
The grass in this Boulder area lawn was damaged from spider mites. They feed on the grass during dry periods and take shelter in the pine tree during wet weather.
Did you Know? Spider mites do not like water and a great way to prevent spider mite damage is to water the lawn during prolonged periods of drought stress, especially during the winter months. That is right, you can control spider mites in a lawn by watering the lawn.
Monitoring Spider Mites: A homeowner can easily monitor the mite populations in their Boulder or Fort Collins area lawns by taking a white piece of paper and scraping some grass from a potentially susceptible area onto the paper. If one stares at the tiny dots on the paper and if they move they are mites. If you believe you are susceptible to spider mite damage and think you need a spider mite lawn treatment you can call our office and ask to be put on our special contact list. During the spider mite season we closely monitor the mite populations in Colorado and when activity begins we contact the customers on the list as a reminder to check their lawn for mite activity.
Enlarged view of mites
Mites feeding on Kentucky Bluegrass
- Photos Courtesy of Whitney Crenshaw & Charles R. Ward
Spider Mites can be controlled without chemicals using a special essential oil insecticide called Ecotrol.
Rory uses a white piece of paper to check for mite activity on the south side of an Austrian Pine on a lawn in Boulder, Colorado.
Spider Mite damage on a lawn in Fort Collins Colorado.
Spider Mite Damage on after a very dry winter.
Spider Mite damage on a lawn in Boulder Colorado.
Spider Mite Damage to a Lawn in Longmont, CO.
When spider mite activity is presentTypically between the months of November and March
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