Growers welcome autumn rains but not uninvited pests

Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 13 May 2015


While decent autumn rains have been welcomed by many grain growers in the southern cropping region, they have also heralded the arrival of numerous invertebrate pests.

Mites, earwigs, fleas, weevils, slugs and snails are appearing in agricultural areas of Victoria and southern New South Wales, according to the PestFacts south-eastern electronic news service which is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Redlegged earth mites are now predicted to be hatching in many cooler regions, early sightings of blue oat mites (Riverina and north-east Victoria) and Bryobia mites (Riverina) are also being reported, as are earwigs (NSW south-west Slopes), lucerne flea (north-east Victoria and Riverina), weevils (NSW Central Tablelands), black keeled slugs (NSW Riverina) and small pointed snails (western Victoria).

To assist growers and their advisers in remaining up-to-date with advice on these problematic pests and others, PestFacts south-eastern is a valuable source of timely information made available through the GRDC-funded National Pest Information Service (NPIS).

The electronic news service is of real value when pest issues emerge during the growing season and when prompt identification and circulation of advisory information is required, according to GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley.

“Each year, growers are confronted with new and recurring pest problems, and it is vital that those issues are recognised and addressed in a timely manner,” Mr Pengilley said.

“By subscribing to the free PestFacts service, reports, field observations, projections and the latest research on the occurrence, distribution and management of invertebrate pests can be relayed throughout grain-growing areas.”

With a focus on pests of broad-acre grain crops and pastures in Victoria and New South Wales, PestFacts south-eastern is co-ordinated by Drs Paul Umina, Garry McDonald and Alana Govender from cesar.

And available via the cesar website at is the PestFacts map, an interactive service that allows subscribers to search and view recent and historical pest report locations.

The map enables users to search by crop, pest or beneficial invertebrate, and time period of interest. The map is updated with each issue of the PestFacts newsletter.

The PestFacts service has been enhanced for the 2015 season in a number of ways, including the use of shorter articles which will link to a new informative PestNotes series presented in collaboration with entomologists from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). PestNotes will offer the best available information and images on more than 50 invertebrate pests.

A new Twitter service has also been set up to provide critical information in a timely manner. Growers and advisers can follow PestFacts south-eastern on Twitter at @PestFactscesar

For more information, to subscribe to PestFacts or to report pest activity, visit the cesar website or contact the co-ordinators via phone (03) 9349 4723 or email

Media Interviews

Dr Paul Umina
03 9349 4723


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

Earwigs are among the invertebrate pests being reported to the PestFacts south-eastern electronic news service which is supported by the GRDC.Photo: GRDC

GRDC Project Code DAQ00201

Region South, North