Problem: Bermudagrass Mite
Eriophyes cynodoniensis These mites, related to spiders, are major pests of bermudagrass but do not attack other grasses. The mites are microscopic, and cannot be seen with less than 30-power magnification. They damage the grass by sucking sap from the base of the leaves and from under leaf sheaths and stems. Mite feeding causes the plant to form very short internodes (distance between leaves) so that the plants grow in tight rosettes or knots, called witches''-brooms. These pests are most numerous on well-fertilized lawns in humid weather with temperatures of 75°F and above. They reproduce very rapidly and by midsummer can build up to tremendous numbers.
To keep the lawn healthy and vigorous, water and fertilize properly. Although fertilizer may increase the mite population, ultimately it hastens the lawn''s recovery. Mow the lawn closely and dispose of the clippings.