- All eriophid mites are extremely small (typically < 1.0 mm long), cigar-shaped, and barely visible with a hand lens.
- Mites are related to ticks and have a two major body regions: cephalothorax and abdomen.
- Adults and nymphs have eight legs; the larvae have six.
- These eriophyid mites are pale yellow.
Biology and Habits:
- They overwinter as adults.
- In the spring, females begin laying eggs under the leaf sheath.
- Development (egg – adult) requires 7 to 10 days.
- As many as 200 mites (all life stages) may be found under a leaf sheath.
- There are multiple overlapping generations in the growing season.
- The mites are spread by the wind, on grass clippings and on insects.
- Bermuda grass mite – bermuda grass
- Buffalo grass mite – buffalo grass
- Zoysia grass mite – zoysia grass
- The first sign of damage appears in the spring when the grass appears unthrifty and off color and does not respond to fertilization and irrigation.
- Bermudagrass mite – leaf tips turn yellow and the leaves curl.
- Zoysiagrass mite – whitish or yellowish streaks on new leaves, stunted growth, and leaves rolled lengthwise.
- A toxic saliva injected by the mites may cause the leaves to become shortened, turn brown, and die.
- Damage is more severe when the grass is stressed, especially by drought.