Couch grass mites (Aceria cynodoniensis) are very small and difficult to see without visual assistance. They are almost transparent to whitish-yellow colour with some darker markings on the outer edge. They have two pairs of legs and an elongated body.

Believed to be a native species, this mite now has widespread distribution across Australia. Couch grass mites are active throughout summer, particularly during hot and dry conditions. Reduced mowing height and collection of clippings may help with control. These pests are so small that an infestation is first identified by the damage caused to couch grass.

Couch grass mites have a very short life cycle, can take hold quickly and cause extensive lawn damage.

Typical turf grass damage is a chlorotic colour. At first, the appearance of the turf looks like it is growing weakly. The internode of stems may also be reduced in length, producing a ‘witches broom’ or ‘bunchy top’ appearance. The grass starts to lose its vigour and will eventually die if the infestation is severe enough.

Prevent a severe infestation with specialised lawn care programs. The Lawn Addicts team will help first with turf insect identification and grass identification, before recommending the best insecticide.

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