How well turf miticides work can vary depending on how bad the mite population is.
Turf grass mites have very short life cycles of only10-14 days. This means that under the right conditions populations can quickly grow to become a severe problem. For more detailed information on the turf mite life cycle.
Aceria cynodoniensis (Eriophyid mites) are tiny mites about 0.2mm that have two pairs of legs. The classic “Witches’ Broom” rosetting in turf is a symptom of mite activity.
What turf miticides are on the market?
Abamectin which is the active ingredient in Malice® and Thumper® is the most widely used turf miticide. A naturally occurring microorganism called, Streptomyces avermitiliis is the main ingredient of abamectin and this is both a contact and translaminar miticide. Once it enters the leaf, it forms a long lasting chemical reservoir, giving up to 28 days of control. Mites are quickly paralyzed and it takes three to four days for it to kick in. So even though mites may be visible they cannot feed and then die.
Other turf miticide options.
Indigo Malice Duo® combines the knockdown of abamectin with clofentazine. As it is effective against both adults and eggs, populations don’t bounce back after treatment.
Bifenthrin is a pyrethroid-based contact miticide and so needs good turf coverage to work properly. It provides 7 to 21 days of control.
Clofentazine (Quali-Pro Prophesy®) only contains the contact miticide clofentazine. Thorough coverage of all plant parts is critical and it works on both mite eggs and the immature stages but not on adults. It is best to use this early in the season before mite populations increase. You will get best results if you apply with an organosilicone wetting agent. Clofentazine is slow-acting but does provide up to 45 days of control.
Diafenthiuron (Waldo®, and Higran®) gives up to 4 weeks control and has a strong contact and translaminar effect. It causes rapid paralyses of mites so they stop feeding and is best used as an early curative miticide to treat nymphs and adults. Ideally it should follow an initial knockdown of abamectin. It is dangerous to bees.
Etoxazole (Finesse®) is a growth regulator for mites and inhibits the molting process. It works as both a contact and translaminar miticide giving up to 28 days of control. Finesse is active on the egg, larvae, and nymphal stages but has little effect on adult mites. However, adult female mites do not produce viable eggs.
Graduated from Newcastle University with an Hons Degree in Soil Science in 1988, Jerry then worked for the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) as a turf agronomist before emigrating to Australia in 1993.
He followed this by gaining a Grad Dip in Business Management from UTS. He has worked in a number of management roles for companies as diverse as Samsung Australia, Arthur Yates and Paton Fertilizers.
He has always had a strong affinity with the Australian sports turf industry and as a result he established Gilba Solutions as an independent sports turf consultancy in 1993. Jerry has written over 100 articles and two books on a wide range of topics such as Turf Pesticides and Nutrition which have been published in Australia and overseas.