I was told by some family that sulfer spread over my pasture would help control mange mites. Is that true? Can y’all help me with this?
This is a bit of a “old wives tale” though there is some reason why the two have become linked. This might be a bit hard to follow but I’ll try to explain what I have observed which might lend some reason as to why this could have happened.
First, SULFUR is commonly used to reduce a high SOIL PH. Farmers have used it as a soil amendment throughout history and with good reason. When farming, certain crops can affect the soil ph making it move in one direction or the other. Two common products used to keep the soil ph in balance is Sulfur and LIQUID LIME.
Now when the soil ph gets out of whack, a lot of bad things can happen. Weeds, fungus and poor crop growth are common signs of a bad PH. Another symptom is a lot of moss, algae and mold growth which arachnids like clover mites, chiggers and spider mites like to feed on or live in. And when soil amendments are used in these areas where mites are present, many times the mites will seemingly disappear as the moss, algae and mold growth is reduced. No doubt this relation was noticed over time. In other words, following the use of either Sulfur or Lime, some “bad things” would seemingly disappear like insect pests, fungus and weeds. It was then the notion was born; the use of either Sulfur or Lime would help control related pest and mold problems.
Then someone thought why not combine the two? And in fact the reaction of these two actives when used in both sprays and dips proved to work well at controlling a wide range of mites so a whole family of products were then born. And today these products are still employed and commonly recommended for mites including mange mites.
I believe it was this combination of events that somehow fertilized the notion that spreading out Sulfur or Lime would in turn control pests like mites out in the yard or pasture. No doubt over the years we’ve had people ask about using both for mites, snakes, fungus, weeds and a whole lot of other problems. But does either really work at controlling the problem? Probably not.
So in summary, should you treat your pasture for mange mites using something like Sulfur? No. True mange mites have a short life once off the host pest and large scale treatments in fields is usually not needed. But if your PH is out of whack (exceedingly high), then using some Sulfur would be fine and in the process if it helped control some nuisance pests then great. And if you have cattle or some other animal fighting mange mites, your vet would probably recommend the use of a lime sulfur dip to help control the problem and no doubt that would help big time. If after this you feel treating the pasture for mites is still warranted, go with the ECO CONCENTRATE. One gallon can treat up to 1.5 acres for mites and it’s even labeled for use on cattle so it’s a good versatile product that can be used around the farm for all kinds of pest problems.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Sulfur Granules: https://www.non-toxic-pest-control.com/granules/sulfur-90-granules
Soil PH Control: http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph