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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Turf damage from bermudagrass mite.


Bermudagrass Mite

Scientific Name: Eriophes cynodoniensis

(Reviewed 9/09, updated 9/09)

In this Guideline:


The bermudagrass mite is an eriophyid mite that is so small it can barely be seen even with a 10X hand lens. It has a wormlike shape with all four legs and mouthparts at the anterior end. Eggs are spherical, transparent, and about one-third the length of the adult mite. They are laid under leaf sheaths. One generation (from egg through two nymphal stages and reaching the egg-laying adult stage again) takes 7 to 10 days in summer when temperatures are in the 80° to 110°F range.


Common bermudagrass. Hybrid bermudagrass is resistant.


Adult and immature mites suck juices and inject toxic saliva that shortens internodes and swells leaf sheaths, forming a witches'-broom growth pattern. Damage first appears in spring and is followed by dieback and browning in summer.


If bermudagrass mite is infesting turfgrass, reducing nitrogen fertilization and close mowing or scalping with removal of clippings can slow down reproduction of, or physically remove, bermudagrass mites. To confirm presence of this mite, examine leaf sheaths of stunted plants with a 10X or 30X hand lens for mites and their eggs. Damage thresholds have not been established for this pest, but if a treatment seems necessary, mow the turf closely and remove clippings first. In addition to physically removing most of the population, it may also displace remaining mites so that they are more readily contacted by the miticide. After mowing, irrigate the turf and spray while the grass is still wet. To increase the chance of getting the pesticide under the leaf sheath, add adequate spreader-sticker to the spray mixture. Do not water or cut the grass within 24 hours of chemical treatment. A second application 10 days after the first may be necessary to obtain satisfactory control.

Common name Amount/1000 sq ft** Ag Use
NonAg Use
(trade name)   (hours) (hours)

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
The following materials are listed in approximate order of usefulness in an IPM program, taking into account efficacy and impact on natural enemies and the environment. Not all registered materials are listed. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
A. DICOFOL 4E 0.667–1 pt 12
  (Talstar) Label rates until dry
  COMMENTS: Not for use on sod farms or in commercial seed production. May cause water quality issues.
  (DeltaGard T & O) 5SC 0.6–0.9 fl oz until dry
  COMMENTS: To control adults. Not for use on sod farms or in commercial seed production. May cause water quality issues.
** Apply sprays in 25 gal water/1000 sq ft.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode of action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at http://www.irac-online.org/.
+ Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Agricultural use applies to sod farms and commercial seed production.
Indicates use is not listed on label.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Turfgrass
UC ANR Publication 3365-T
Insects and Mites
M. L. Flint, UC IPM Program, UC Davis
M. A. Harivandi, UC Cooperative Extension, Alameda County
H. K. Kaya, Nematology, UC Davis
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insect and Mites:
J. Hartin, UC Cooperative Extension, San Bernardino County
R. S. Cowles, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Windsor, CT
K. Kido, Entomology, UC Riverside
H. S. Costa, Entomology, UC Riverside
D. D. Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension, Humboldt/Del Norte counties

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