Until recently there was a bit of confusion around which species of mite the Couch Mite was. There was also little data about how widespread the Couch Mite was in Australia. A scientific study about a decade ago solved all that. The conclusion was that the Couch Mite (Aceria cynodoniensis) is widespread in Australia and it is found in all mainland states.
The Couch Mite is of concern because it is microscopic and hidden away inside the sheaths of couch grass, and therefore, its presence is only made obvious by the damage it causes. That means by the time you see the damage a severe infestation is well under way. Therefore, prevention is key to managing this turf pest. Couch Mite is favoured by hot, dry conditions so make sure your lawn is watered appropriately during those conditions to prevent your lawn becoming stressed.
There is evidence that Couch Mite is spread on grass clippings. Ensure you mow with a catcher and that you compost those clippings. If you don’t, the mites will just walk off the drying lawn clippings and on to the nearest healthy blade of couch grass.
If Couch Mite infestations are common in your area and the preventative measures don’t work, you may need to use a registered pesticide. Try Yates Baythroid Advanced Insect Killer for Lawns. To treat Couch Mites, mix as directed in a garden sprayer or watering can and evenly apply over the lawn. Do not water lawn for at least 24 hours after product application, watering is not essential for product to work for Couch Mite control. Repeat treatment, if necessary. Please see label for full instructions prior to application.